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Digital platforms in Russia: competition between national and foreign multi-sided platforms stimulates growth and innovation

Yaroslav Eferin (World Bank, Washington, USA)
Yuri Hohlov (Institute of Information Society, Moscow, Russia)
Carlo Rossotto (World Bank, Washington, USA)

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

ISSN: 2398-5038

Article publication date: 16 January 2019

Issue publication date: 6 March 2019




This paper aims to test the “winner-takes-all” vs the “winner-takes-some” scenarios in digital platform competition dynamics in emerging markets.


This paper uses an analytical reference framework to assess the emergence of digital platforms in Russia, including four elements: definition of multi-sided platforms (MSPs), platform enablers, business models and competitive dynamics.


This paper concludes that Russia shows that a healthy competition between national and foreign MSPs led to the emergence of a shared equilibrium, where local platforms were able to retain a significant, often majority, share vis-à-vis foreign and global platforms.

Research limitations/implications

This paper stands as a counterpoint to the widespread conviction that digital platform dynamics will result into a “winner-takes-all” scenario and dominance of global platforms.

Practical implications

This case study offers practical data and analysis that can be used to create a baseline and evaluate the dynamics of digital platforms in emerging markets. It offers data, trends and evidence on Russia’s digital economy.

Social implications

This research provides a logical framework to help policymakers take decisions on a policy framework to regulate platforms in emerging markets. The good outcome of competition between local and foreign platforms should emerge as a policy objective to achieve in most emerging markets.


This case study is the first baseline to assess the dynamics of competition between national and foreign digital platforms in the Russian market. It is one of the first papers to tackle the market of digital platforms in an emerging and developing economy. It tries to address the debate between “winner-takes-all” and “winner-takes some” competition equilibrium through a concrete case study in an important G20 emerging market economy.



Eferin, Y., Hohlov, Y. and Rossotto, C. (2019), "Digital platforms in Russia: competition between national and foreign multi-sided platforms stimulates growth and innovation", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 129-145.



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