Chinese tech companies are quietly leaving Russia

As China said it would drop sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, many of the country’s tech companies have begun to give up doing business in Russia.

That’s according to a Friday, May 6 report from the Wall Street Journal, which said the Chinese government has called on companies to resist pressure from the United States and other countries.

Nonetheless, sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that several major Chinese companies were quietly reducing shipments to Russia, where they dominated the market for a number of products.

These companies include computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. and smartphone and gadget company Xiaomi Corp., the sources said. But unlike Western companies, these companies have not made public statements criticizing Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Read more: China will refrain from sanctions against Russia, says regulator

In March, the head of China’s banking and insurance regulator said the country opposes financial sanctions against Russia and would not join Western countries in imposing them.

Guo Shuqing said in a briefing at the time that the country “would not participate in any such sanctions, and we will continue to maintain normal economic, trade and financial exchanges with relevant parties.”

He argued that unilateral financial sanctions generally do not produce a positive result and lack a legal basis.

According to the Journal, China’s Commerce Ministry admitted last month that the sanctions had disrupted the country’s trade with Russia, but urged companies ‘not to submit to external coercion and make inappropriate external statements’. .

The sharp decline in technology exports to Russia underscores the impact of Western sanctions and their effectiveness in influencing the behavior of companies based far away, even in countries where the government opposes sanctions. Trade data showed China’s overall exports to Russia fell 27% in value from February to March.

See also: Russia looks to BRICS for sanctions relief in payment systems

As PYMNTS reported in April, Russia has called on the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to expand the use of national currencies and integrate payment systems.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in a meeting with the BRICS that the global economic situation has worsened significantly due to the sanctions, adding that they have also destroyed the foundations of the existing international monetary and financial system. based on the US dollar.

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