Shenzhen-based smartphone maker AGM saw its sales in the Russian market fall to zero in the first two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, April 12, AGM co-founder Austin Ding said the price of AGM mobiles doubled and even tripled overnight for Russian consumers. The ruble’s devaluation and the “weakened spending power in the market” also affected their sales.

AGM was in a difficult situation when the Western sanctions imposed on Russia made the rouble plummet because its products were priced in U.S. dollars. Russia accounts for about 30% of its total sales by volume and is its second-largest market.

Ding added, “In the long run, Russia is still a promising market.”

According to Ding, when the rouble regained some stability, AGM sales in Russia increased but were still much below pre-invasion levels.

Chinese companies are trying to trade with Russia while the Western sanctions against Russia increase.

Another Chinese mobile phone maker, Transsion Holdings, reported to its investors that it had used yuan in trading in Russia since March.

The Shenzhen branch of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade recently has trained nearly 2,000 company delegates about the risks involved in trade with Russia.

The council has reminded them to stay alert to “secondary sanctions risks” and check in on their Russian partner carefully.

China has refused to oppose economic sanctions against Russia since the war started on Feb. 24.

But, according to the AP, in a speech Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said China “cannot expect the global community to respect its appeals to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the future if it does not respect these principles now.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.