Chinese technology firms remain silent as US, EU companies sever ties with Russia

In the photo – a video screen in the office of Russian President Putin at the residence of Novo-Ogaryovo, which shows Chinese President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting via video call.

Michael Metzel | Tass | Getty Images

American and European firms are severing ties with Russia or at least cutting their business in the country since Ukraine’s invasion, but Chinese technology companies remain relatively calm.

CNBC contacted nine major Chinese technology companies, but only one commented. The others declined to comment or did not respond.

While the leaders of the United States, Europe and Asia have condemned and imposed sanctions on Russia and President Vladimir Putin, China has refused to call the attack an invasion.

Apple said Tuesday it has stopped selling its products in Russia. The iPhone giant also said it had removed Russian state media RT News and Sputnik News from its App Store worldwide except Russia.

Google has also removed both news agencies from its Play Store in Europe.

Nike has made online purchases of its goods in Russia unavailable, saying it could not guarantee delivery of goods in the country. Meanwhile, major film studios, including Disney and Warner Bros., have stopped renting future films in Russia.

Chinese firms are silent

Over the past few months, China and Russia have become closer. In December, Chinese leader Xi Jinping held talks with Putin. The Russian president called Xi his “dear friend” and said that relations between the two countries had reached “an unprecedented level.”

China has not responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with condemnation and sanctions like Western nations. Officials avoided calling the attack an invasion and instead blamed it on the United States

China’s banking and insurance regulator has said it opposes financial sanctions against Russia and will not join them.

While many Western companies spoke out against the war and the reduction of business in Russia, Chinese companies were silent and did not take any action.

“For Chinese companies, the shadow of Sino-Russian relations is approaching. These companies do not want to anger Beijing by taking a political position (ie leaving Russia), ”said Abishur Prakash, co-founder of the Center for Future Innovation. consulting firm, told CNBC by email Wednesday.

“Unless the Chinese government suddenly changes its foreign policy, Chinese firms are unlikely to” act geopolitically. ” Whatever tone Beijing sets, this tone will be followed by these companies. And now the tone is Russia’s tacit support. “

Consumer electronics makers Huawei, Xiaomi and Honor declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Smartphone maker Oppo has not returned several requests for comment.

Realme, which is the fourth largest smartphone player in Russia, said it was “still closely monitoring the situation and awaiting further information.”

Meanwhile, Alibaba declined to comment. The Chinese company has a joint venture in Russia with the Internet company Group, the Russian mobile operator Megafon and the sovereign wealth fund “Russian Direct Investment Fund”.

Search company Baidu and game giants Tencent and NetEase did not respond to requests for comment.

The Chinese trucking company Didi also considers RFIF an investor. The company operates in Russia. Last week, Didi announced that he would leave Russia “due to changing market conditions”, but did not mention the conflict in Ukraine. Shortly afterwards, she turned around and said she would not close her business in Russia.

Didi did not respond to several requests for comment from CNBC.

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is one of the few Chinese companies to have taken some action. TikTok has stated that it will restrict access to the Russian sites RT and Sputnik in the European Union.

Chinese technology firms remain silent as US, EU companies sever ties with Russia

Source link Chinese technology firms remain silent as US, EU companies sever ties with Russia

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