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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Xiaomi Says Russian Ban On Its Imported Phones Is ‘Normal’

Xiaomi said that the recently imposed Russian ban on its imported phones isn’t a major problem, labeling the recent actions of Russian customs as “normal practice.” In a statement provided to the South China Morning Post earlier this week, a company spokesperson said that authorities in Russia are currently in the process of blocking some of its shipments ordered by resellers who aren’t paying taxes, adding that the Beijing, China-based consumer electronics manufacturer is currently working with its local partners to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Previous reports from Russia revealed that local authorities started blocking significant volumes of Xiaomi-made handsets from entering the country in April as part of an effort to combat tax evasion and mass imports of counterfeit products. The Chinese tech giant recently reiterated that it’s looking to follow all Russian laws as it attempts to resolve the situation with its distribution partners. For the time being, Xiaomi is asking its customers looking to purchase new devices to stick with its official online retailer partners — Smart Orange and RDC — that are offering their services in Russia. Apart from ensuring that their devices don’t get seized by customs, purchasing Xiaomi devices from official channels will also ensure that customers are provided access to after-sales services and have valid, official warranties for their smartphones, the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer said.

According to previous media reports, Xiaomi’s recent troubles in Russia aren’t unique, as many other tech giants offering their products in the country are currently experiencing similar issues; customers of Huawei, Sony, and BlackBerry, among others, have recently had their devices seized by customs. It’s currently unclear why Russian authorities have only now started cracking down on consumer electronics imports since laws regulating this activity haven’t been adopted recently, but an update on the situation is expected to follow shortly. Regarding the phenomena itself, Russian consumers are indirectly incentivized to purchase smartphones through unofficial online channels due to significant price differences between their offerings and products sold by retail networks in the country. Regardless, as the Chinese tech giant continues pursuing its increasing global ambitions, the company will likely be looking to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

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