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Samsung says will comply with Russian law forcing local apps on phones, PCs

Samsung cell phones. (Pexels/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Samsung has said it will comply with the requirements of a controversial Russian law, which stipulates that smartphones and other computer devices must have government-approved, pre-installed software on them.

“Samsung Electronics will be ready to meet the requirements of the Russian legislation provided by the regulator and adapt the company’s activities in accordance with the adopted regulations,” The Moscow Times reported on February 18.

The South Korea-based electronics company said in a statement cited by RIA Novosti the previous day that it already works with Russian application developers and sells products with’s mail application and Yandex search functionality preinstalled on devices.

“The amendments to the law will not affect the company’s plans to continue working in Russia,” Samsung said.

Its decision is at odds with U.S.-based rival Apple, which has said it will not sell devices with third-party apps while adding that the law could force it to reassess the extent of its presence on the Russian market.

Last year, Russia’s parliament passed the new rules but is still finalizing which applications will have to be preinstalled on smartphones, tablets, and computers that are sold inside the country.

They are set to come into effect this summer.

Fines for noncompliance are currently set at 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($784-$3,137).

According to the RBK business news site, Samsung is Russia’s second most popular smartphone brand, with 28 percent of market share, whereas Apple controls less than 10 percent of the market.

Last week, a Moscow court fined U.S.-based Twitter and Facebook 4 million rubles ($63,336) each for failing to comply with a law that requires social-media companies to store customer data on servers located inside Russia.