The Russian government is launching its own mobile operating system to take on Apple and Google
REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
The move follows a recently introduced Russian law that requires all tech companies that hold information on Russian citizens to store the data within the country. Reports at the time of the law's passing late last year speculated that it could see Apple banned from Russia altogether.But even if that doesn't ultimately come to pass, the Russian government is clearly keen to have its citizens move to homegrown platforms. International confidence in the products made by US tech companies has been rocked over the last several years following whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations over US government surveillance; the move is likely a way to try and avoid this.
Relations between Russia and the West are also at their lowest in years, following sanctions relating to Russia's annexation of Crimea. The launch of homegrown mobile OS would help lessen Russia's reliance on Western companies.And Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook is openly gay, has also previously come under criticism in the increasingly-homophobic country. Russia has passed laws outlawing what it classes as the "promotion of homosexuality" - and a Russian politician slammed Apple's free giveaway of the new U2 album as "gay propaganda." A monument to Apple was also demolished in November 2014 after Tim Cook came out, which the Guardian reports "was widely viewed as a direct response" to Cook's announcement.
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