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China Fills Void as Foreign Brands Flee Russian Market During War

  • Chinese vehicles were 81% of new car imports last quarter
  • War in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s tilt toward Asia
Stores advertising international logistics transportation to Russia, in Beijing, China.
Stores advertising international logistics transportation to Russia, in Beijing, China.Photographer: Jade Gao/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese cars, televisions and smartphones are replacing German and South Korean imports in Russia as its market is reshaped by sanctions and an exodus of brands in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The result is upending trade, with Russia seeking to insulate itself from further disruptions by pivoting to goods from countries that haven’t joined sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. Moscow is also rewriting rules to allow its sovereign wealth fund to invest in the currencies of China, India and Turkey, after penalties blocked euro and dollar purchases.