Lenovo, Xiaomi Reportedly Curtail Operations in Russia

Major Chinese tech companies are discreetly pulling back from doing business in Russia under pressure from US sanctions and suppliers, the Wall Street Journal said Friday, citing sources familiar with the situation.

The firms, which have not made any public announcements regarding regional business adjustments, include PC giant Lenovo Group Ltd. and smartphone and consumer electronics maker Xiaomi, the sources said.

Lenovo halted shipments shortly after Russia’s invasion began and foreign sanctions took effect, although some existing inventory remains for sale in the country. Xiaomi has also cut shipments to Russia, with one distributor operating in the region saying there have been no deliveries in recent weeks.

Shenzhen-based leading drone maker DJI’s announcement last month that it would suspend business in Russia and Ukraine made the company a rare example of a Chinese company publicly halting activities over the conflict. Huawei has also severely curtailed its operations in Russia, based on reporting from Izvestia and Forbes Russia. The telecommunications and consumer electronics firm’s moves have included suspending new orders in Russia, placing employees on mandatory leave for at least one month, and laying off marketing employees to avoid getting hit by further US sanctions.

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China’s exports of tech products to Russia fell sharply from February to March, with shipments of laptops declining more than 40%, smartphones down by nearly two-thirds and exports of telecom base stations down 98%, according to the most recently available Chinese government trade data.