WSJ: The Chinese company has quietly stopped doing business with Russia

WSJ sources said that Lenovo and Xiaomi have halted exports to Russia due to pressure from suppliers and US sanctions.

Chinese tech firms are slashing exports to Russia — where many of their products dominate the market — without public announcement. Unlike Western companies, these companies avoid talking about the Russia-Ukraine conflict or business because Beijing opposes Western sanctions.

Lenovo – the world’s largest maker of personal computers – halted exports to Russia as soon as the conflict erupted and sanctions were announced. However, the inventory here is still for sale. Last year, Lenovo was the second largest seller of PCs in Russia after HP.

A customer bought a Lenovo laptop in Moscow in March Photo: Zuma Press

A customer bought a Lenovo laptop in Moscow in March. Photo: Zuma Press

Xiaomi – the second largest phone seller here after Samsung Electronics – has also stopped exporting to Russia. A trader told the WSJ that there had been no deliveries in recent weeks.

China’s exports of technology products to Russia fell sharply in March compared to the previous month. According to Chinese data, the number of exported laptops fell by more than 40%, smartphones by almost two-thirds, and BTS by 98%. However, China’s trade turnover with the world also fell due to the Covid-19-related blockade orders in Shanghai – the country’s export hub.

The withdrawal of Chinese tech companies comes after the US and its allies imposed financial sanctions and export controls on Russia. The US has threatened to fine Chinese companies that violate these regulations.

Many American chipmakers that supply Chinese companies are also pressuring their customers to ensure their products are not found in third-party goods and exported to Russia. The WSJ source said one supplier even sent a letter to all customers in March and sent sales reps to customers to convince them.

China’s Commerce Ministry admitted last month that sanctions have disrupted China’s trade with Russia. However, they call on companies “not to give in to external pressure and to refrain from making inappropriate statements”.

Last month, drone maker SZ DJI Technology was a rare company to announce it would suspend operations in both Russia and Ukraine pending the assessment of the situation.

Ha Thu (according to WSJ)