Russians’ internet use surged after 2006
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2012 -- Russian internet businesses are experiencing robust sales, but new internet restrictions that could take effect might hamper that economic growth in the segment.
The restrictions could be imposed under the child protection law that will be implemented on the first of November.
At a recent news conference, Sergei Plugotarenko, director of the Russian Electronic Communications Association, urged the government to maintain an open approach to the internet. The association and Higher School of Economics released a detailed report on the Russian internet economy at the conference.
Since 2006, Russian internet use has grown dramatically. A VTsIOM survey conducted in September indicated 60% of the country’s population now uses the internet compared with just 24 % in 2006.
The increase is mirrored in numbers published in the Russian internet report, which claims Russian websites, known collectively as the Runet, compose the fastest-growing internet economy in Europe.
According to that report, in 2011, Russia saw more than 554 billion rubles ($17.8 billion) in internet-related sales, expenditures and payments, an average increase of about 30% over figures in the same category in 2010.
Retail shoppers alone bought 309 billion rubles’ worth of items online.
Meanwhile, advertisers spent 24 billion rubles on contextual ads, 16 billion rubles on media advertising, including banner ads, 800 million rubles on online video ads, 3 billion rubles on social media websites such as Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte and 1.9 billion rubles on software and data hosting services.
Karen Kazaryan, Russian Electronic Communications Association chief analyst, said increased state restrictions on the internet would affect most areas of internet commerce. Exceptions might be online retail and website development sites, she added.
Founded in 2006, the association is a noncommercial partnership of internet businesses. It is one of a number of organizations and businesses lobbying for changes to the child-protection law, which allows the government to block individual pages and entire websites. It is that intrusion of the law into internet business that is “why we are trying to work with the government" to clear up its wording, Kazaryan said.
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