Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone.
ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/GettyImages
  • A new Russian law that requires devices to have Russian software installed is now in force.
  • It's intended to allow Russian software companies to compete with foreign ones.
  • Some are calling it a "law against Apple," though Apple has relented to the rule.
  • See more stories on Business Insider SA's home page.

Russia now requires all smart devices, including smartphones, computers, and smart TVs, in the country to be pre-installed with Russian software, in what some locals have called a "law against Apple."

The new came into force on Thursday, applying to all devices bought in the country from that day onwards.

Reuters noted that Russia views it as a way to help Russian software companies compete with international ones.

The outlet added that the law had been an issue for Apple, with many in the country calling it a "law against Apple."

But Apple agreed last month to allow people to install Russian software when the phones are being set up, Reuters reported.

The company said it would offer apps from Russian developers to users as they start to activate and set up their new phones, but said that all apps are checked to make sure they meet Apple's own privacy and security policies, Reuters said.

This means that users would be able to choose Russian apps over foreign ones when setting up their devices.

In a tweet on Thursday, an iOS developer named Tian Zhang shared a video of the new setup process.

A screen in the setup now says, "In compliance with Russian legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download."

Tapping "continue" takes the user to a list of Russian-made apps, including several from the search giant Yandex.

Russia has been trying to crack down on US tech companies in the country and strengthen its reliance on its government-controlled "sovereign internet." Last month, Russia slowed down Twitter in response to the company's refusal to remove various banned content, but that ended up blocking many more domains, including the Kremlin's website.

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