Alexei Kuzovkin: Mandatory domestic software law benefits Russian developers

Alexei Kuzovkin, CEO of Infosoft, investor and innovator commented on the law mandating pre-installation of Russian software on smartphones that will take effect on July 1, 2020.

The State Duma passed the law in its third and final reading. The law makes it mandatory to pre-install Russian software on smartphones, laptops and Smart TV devices. The Russian government will later determine the final list of devices and software that the law applies to. The State Duma website says that the law allows customers to use devices without having to install third-party mobile apps and other software. The law also contributes to promoting Russian software on the IT market.

The Russian public had a lukewarm response to the law. Its opponents are concerned about the quality of compulsory pre-installed software and some of it even being spyware. Moreover, Apple has a policy of pre-installing exclusively Apple software on its devices. Therefore, there is a chance that the company will simply leave the Russian market if forced to change its policy. The supporters of the law claim that it will significantly boost Russian developers' positions against foreign competitors.

"Strictly in economic terms, the law benefits Russian mobile app developers," comments Alexei Kuzovkin. "Hypothetically, the law will help to broaden the distribution of Russian software and eventually boost economic growth and create new jobs. Apart from that, all smartphones sold in Russia will have verified data protection tools pre-installed – although essentially, it is already the case. The good thing is that the law doesn't restrict users from installing any apps they want on their smartphones or smart television. So they can basically use whatever they are used to and whatever is more convenient.