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Communications Ministry drafts proposal to pre-install Russian-made apps on smartphones and tablets before sale

Source: Vedomosti

Russia’s Communications Ministry has developed a proposal that would amend Russian communication laws to mandate the pre-installation of Russian-made apps on mobile devices sold within the country. Vedomosti received a draft of the proposal and reported that it would soon be released for public comment.

The document argues that it would provide equal access for Russian apps to the global market. The details of the plan, including the specific apps and devices involved, would be set by the Russian executive branch.

The Communications Ministry had previously rejected a similar proposal from the Federal Antitrust Service (FAS). The FAS had said Microsoft and Intel also came out against the idea of pre-installing Russian apps while the Russian companies Megafon, Group, and MTC supported it and Yandex said it would not have negative consequences. Such pre-installation can currently occur only on Android devices and as part of a commercial agreement.

After news of the proposal to expand pre-installation broke, a source in the Communications Ministry told TASS that the idea stemmed from internal disagreements in the Ministry and would likely not even be brought forward for consideration in the State Duma.