Chinese technology companies such as Lenovo and Xiaomi are quietly pulling their operations out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
According to Apollo News, these Chinese tech giants are worried about U.S. sanctions and under pressure from suppliers, although the Chinese government has called on them to resist overseas coercion.
During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China in early February, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that there are “no limits” to the partnership between the two countries.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put that relationship to a test.
According to the Wall Street Journal, several large Chinese companies are cutting shipments to Russia, but they have not made public announcements.
Numerous Western companies have publicly announced their curtailments in business in Russia. China, on the other hand, acts differently. These Chinese tech companies are avoiding releasing public statements regarding Russia’s invasion or their business in Russia. It’s because the Chinese government opposes Western sanctions.
Notably, Chinese technology groups, such as PC giant Lenovo and smartphone maker Xiaomi, dominate the Russian market for many products.
Last month, Chinese drone giant SZ DJI Technology made an unusual move, announcing the suspension of its business activities in Russia and Ukraine. The world’s largest maker of consumer drones made the decision after Ukrainian officials complained that the company appeared to aid Russia’s military activities in Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered the U.S. and its allies to impose a wave of financial sanctions on Russia. The U.S. has threatened to punish Chinese companies if they flout those rules.
U.S. chip suppliers are reportedly urging their Chinese customers to abide by the sanctions. They also asked China to ensure that their semiconductors do not appear in third-party shipments destined for Russia.
One U.S. supplier sent a letter to all of its Chinese customers in March, urging them to comply with the rules.
Liberty Times Net citing the latest Chinese official trade data indicated that China’s exports of technology products to Russia fell sharply in March, with laptop shipments falling more than 40% from February and telecom base exports falling 98%.
China’s Ministry of Commerce acknowledged last month that Western sanctions had disrupted business between China and Russia.