Chinese smartphones are flying off the shelves in Moscow

From Jiaxing Li's "Russian consumers rush to snap up Chinese smartphone stocks as the rouble’s value sinks" posted Thursday in the South China Morning Post:

Major Chinese Android smartphone brands are seeing robust demand this month in Russia, boosted by increased local consumer spending on essential electronics devices, as international sanctions against the invasion of Ukraine sent the rouble in free fall.

“Russian retailers are setting the price higher every few days to make up for the exchange loss,” said Ivan Lam, Hong Kong-based analyst at Counterpoint Research. “People are buying everything from smartphones to home appliances before the currency further depreciates.”

Sales of smartphones from Huawei Technologies Co, Oppo and Vivo significantly increased in the first two weeks of March, according to a report by Russian daily newspaper Kommersanton Wednesday, citing data from the country’s largest mobile network operator MTS.

The number of Huawei smartphones sold during that period was three times more than the previous two weeks, the report said. Sales of Oppo and Vivo devices surged 200 per cent in the same period, while those of ZTE Corp and Realme grew 100 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively.

My take: New hope for Huawei.


  1. Tommo_UK said:
    Maybe we’ll now see China throw the next Russian election? 😀

    March 17, 2022
  2. Bart Yee said:
    I think we and Apple management can effectively wipe Russia from the “Rest of Asia” revenue stream for this and next quarter at least. I think it will be difficult to see the US and Apple lift any sanctions in the near term. The devaluation of the ruble/rouble would make iPhones and other Apple products prohibitively expensive anyways for all but the wealthiest oligarch.

    I’m not entirely cognizant of Apple Russia revenue but suggest that it’s probably a $2-3B hit on gross revenue for a full quarter. For this March quarter, figure a $1-1.5B hit.

    Total FY2021 ROA gross revenue was $26.4B.

    March 17, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Bart: I think that’s good point. We can get all caught up in Apple ceasing sales in Russia. But with the devaluation of the Ruble, it doesn’t really matter. Additionally, from what I’ve read, Russia’s wealth and income inequality is among the highest in the developed world. The market for Apple products in the country isn’t nearly as high as the population or even the GDP numbers might suggest. I really don’t see this is a material factor in Apple’s results.

      March 17, 2022
  3. Ken Cheng said:
    Hope?!? Now Huawei has tons of devaluing rubles, which they’ll try to “hedge”. This sounds like the losing by winning strategy.

    March 17, 2022

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