Updated | Lenovo, Acer, Asus disregard U.S. economic sanctions, continue to sell computers in Russia
April 8, 2022 update: Acer released an official announcement stating that it has decided to suspend its business in Russia.
Russia is facing drastic economic sanctions for its actions in Ukraine and many companies across the world are now either scaling back, suspending or altogether withdrawing their businesses from Russian territories. As the country imposing the harshest sanctions, the U.S. is keeping a close eye on the steps taken by world-wide corporations to respect such severe measures, and it turns out that quite a few tech companies are defying the demands to exit or reduce activities in Russia. According to a recent report published by the Yale School of Management and cited by CRN, companies such as Lenovo, Acer and Asus appear to be disregarding the sanctions and are continuing to sell computer-related products on Russian territories.
CRN points out that Lenovo’s Russian landing page is still online and there is even a discount coupon available this week. China has mostly taken Russia’s part for the time being, even though it is trying to keep its distance. It could be justified for Lenovo as a Chinese company to continue its business in Russia, but this defiance does not make much sense coming from Taiwanse companies like Acer and Asus, given the complicated political status of Taiwan.
Since all three companies have a sizable presence in the U.S. and are integrating U.S. hardware from Intel and AMD in many of their products, the “rogue” entities are expected to comply with the Biden administration sanctions sooner rather than later. CRN also cites a Bloomberg report stating that companies that systematically thwart sanction efforts could soon face sanctions themselves, and their U.S. branch executives may even face jail time.
An anonymous U.S. solution provider expresses its concerns regarding the whole situation as a conclusion for the CRN article: “Computer technology is really the enabler to a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. As long as Russia is able to get state-of-the-art technology, they are going to put it to bad use [...] the supply chain starts here and [Lenovo] wouldn’t be able to even deliver to Russia without us.”