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Technology

Russia makes local apps mandatory on smartphones

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law a requiring all smartphones and computers sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software. The legislation, which will take effect in July 2020, is aimed at promoting Russian-made software.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law a requiring all smartphones and computers sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software. The legislation, which will take effect in July 2020, is aimed at promoting Russian-made software. But it has been dubbed the "anti-Apple" law because it would force the US tech giant to pre-install non-Apple software on its products.

The Russian government will now draw up a list of products affected by the law, published and signed by Putin on Monday, as well as a list of applications that would need to be pre-installed.

It comes amid a slew of measures taken by Russian officials to control the tech sector, including a law that took effect on November 1 requiring local internet providers to install devices provided by authorities to enable centralised control of traffic.

Apple last week appeared to bow to government pressure and began showing the annexed Crimea peninsula as part of Russia on maps and weather apps in the country. After the move sparked outrage in Ukraine, Apple said it might "adjust its approach".

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2019

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