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Russia Authorizes 16 Preinstalled Applications for All Smartphones and Tablets

January 2021

January 2021 Updates


Russia Authorizes 16 Preinstalled Applications for All Smartphones and Tablets

The Russian Federation government issued Decision # 1867 dated November 20, 2020 “On the list of certain types of technically complex products with pre-installed Russian programs for computers, the procedure for compiling and maintaining a list of Russian programs for electronic computers that must be pre-installed on certain types of technically complex products, and the order of their pre-installation”.

According to this Decision, all smartphones and tablets produced after January 1, and sold in Russia must be preinstalled with 16 domestic applications. Computers must be preinstalled with 3 applications and Smart TV requires four domestic applications to be sold in Russia.

The Government approved the rules for the mandatory pre-installation of domestic software on electronic devices. The law on the mandatory pre-installation of Russian applications on devices imported into the country was supposed to enter into force on July 1. However, the date of implementation was postponed to January 1, 2021 because of the pandemic.

Thus, manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, other wireless equipment with a touch screen and “two or more functions”, computers, laptops, system units, and TVs with the Smart TV function will be required to preinstall the Russian software.

Moreover, smartphones and tablets require pre-installation of 16 Russian classes of software, among them are:

  • browsers

  • search engines

  • social networks

  • messengers

  • email services

  • cartographic and navigation services

  • voice assistants

  • news aggregators

  • antiviruses

  • office software

  • audiovisual services

  • programs for online broadcasts and access to user-generated content

  • application of the payment service “Mir”

  • cloud storage

  • “State services” application

  • “Programs for accessing resources” included in the list of socially significant Internet services, as well as “for accessing the list of Russian programs that are rapidly gaining popularity”

Preinstallation can be performed both by the manufacturers themselves and by fully authorized persons such as suppliers or sellers of equipment. Instead of a full preinstallation of software, they can place an icon of the program to be loaded on the device’s screen. Another variant is to show the user a list of programs available for installation when the device is turned on for the first time. There should be no opportunity to skip such a dialog box.

However, the Association of trading companies and manufacturers of consumer electronic and computer equipment (RATEK) commented on implementation terms and notified regulators that companies need from 6 to 18 months depending on the product category to prepare for such changes and now only a few companies are ready to follow these new rules.

The Russian Government is analyzing this notification and will probably consider an option to postpone the implantation date once more.

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