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Taiwan’s Acer supplies hardware to Russia after announcing it would freeze business data

Taiwanese computer maker Acer ( 2353.TW ) shipped at least $70.4 million worth of computer hardware to Russia between April 8, 2022 and March 31, 2023, according to Reuters customs records, after it said it will suspend business there.
While not illegal, Acer’s actions contrast with those of major Western rivals such as Dell ( DELL.N ) and HP ( HPE.N ), which suspended supplies in February and April 2022 after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. taken from a presentation by a commercial business data provider. The documents show that Acer-manufactured devices were delivered to Russia both through Acer’s 100% Swiss-registered subsidiary and through delivery services ordered by several of its subsidiaries.
Because the shipments originated outside Taiwan, they did not violate Taipei’s Russian sanctions. They also did not apply to goods that, during export, are limited by the Swiss sanctions system, which corresponds to the European Union sanctions system. But in a statement on April 8 last year, the company said: “Due to recent developments, Acer has decided to suspend its business operations in Russia.”

Asked about exporting to Russia through its Swiss subsidiary Acer Sales International SA, Taiwan-based Acer said in a statement that “we strictly follow applicable international rules and trade laws when we export to Russia.”
He added that the Swiss subsidiary “has not supplied laptops or desktops to Russia since April 8 last year”, but it has supplied “a limited number of screens and accessories to the Russian market for everyday civilian use, while ensuring the compliance with international sanctions.”.
Acer did not say why it continued to ship goods to Russia, although it said it was suspending business there.
A source familiar with the details of the shipments, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Acer products, including personal computer monitors and laptops, were also sent to Russia after April 2022.
Reuters was unable to determine the origin of any of the Acer products still being sold in Russia or when they arrived in the country. In compliance with the EU, the Swiss sanctions allow the export of laptops and computer components to Russia until December 16, 2022. After that date, Acer has not shipped the newly banned products from Switzerland to Russia.
The company told Reuters that Russian importers may have obtained Acer devices from third countries.
Acer’s Russian unit responded to emailed questions that “nothing has changed” since the April 2022 statement. According to consulting firm IDC Russia, Acer’s share of all computers sold in Russia in the last quarter of 2021 was 18.5%, while HP and Dell’s share was 20.8%.
The editorials emphasize how, despite international sanctions aimed at limiting Russian access to technology and equipment, foreign products are still available to consumers.
Artem Zhavoronkov, a partner at the St. Petersburg law firm Nordic Star, said Acer could damage his reputation.
At a recent meeting in Japan, G7 leaders decided to strengthen sanctions against Russia and stop Moscow’s attempts to circumvent them.
According to Russian customs, at least 744 shipments of Acer products arrived in Russia from April 8, 2022 to March 31, 2023, compared to 3,735 a year earlier, totaling $244.3 million. In financial terms, shipments fell 71.1%, with laptops and computer monitors making up the majority of shipments, according to the data.
Taiwan announced that it will join the sanctions against Russia on February 25, 2022. The list made by the government requires a special license for exporting technology products.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy told Reuters that high-performance electronics, including displays, monitors and laptops, were included in the list and that export applications “will not be accepted in principle”.
According to the ministry, Acer did not apply for such permits until the end of March 2023, and there is no Taiwanese customs register for Acer’s exports to Russia. The ministry declined to comment further.
The main supplier of Acer equipment to Russia last year was Acer Sales International SA, registered in the city of Bioggio in the southern Italian canton of Switzerland.
An official at the branch did not respond to requests for comment via WhatsApp.
Switzerland’s state secretary for economic affairs told Reuters it does not comment on individual cases or individual companies.
The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade did not respond to a request for comment.



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