Chinese Xiaomi has given official comments on the statements of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense about the presence of censorship in the company’s smartphones.
The day before, there were reports that the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense advise users not to buy Chinese-made smartphones and get rid of existing devices from China. According to the Lithuanian cybersecurity agency, Xiaomi devices sold in Europe have a built-in ability to recognize and block certain phrases, such as “long live Taiwan independence” and “democratic movement”.
And now, official statements from Xiaomi have come in on this issue. The company says that Xiaomi devices do not censor messages to or from their users.
“Xiaomi has never restricted and will never restrict or block the personal activities of users of the company’s smartphones; such as searching, making calls, browsing the web or using third-party communications software. Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users,” the message says.
In addition, the company emphasizes that it complies with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR). And the capabilities of third-party advertising filters on Xiaomi devices are not available in the EU; and in any jurisdiction where their use is contrary to applicable laws.
Xiaomi: blocking smartphones is to ensure the safety of users
Due to recent media reports about blocking Xiaomi smartphones in a number of countries and regions, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and the Crimea, a company spokesman reporting on Sunday in an interview with the resource Global Times, that the measure ” is not aiming any -or a specific market”. He added that these actions aims preventing smuggling and gray market sales; as well as protecting the security of user data.
Xiaomi’s export policy does not allow any of its products to be exported to countries and regions; where the company does not have an official presence. However, in recent years, the gray market has been actively expanding; and quite often users have bought Xiaomi devices in one region and used them in another.
Some media outlets considered that the beginning of Xiaomi’s blocking of their mobile phones was due to the influence of the United States. Allegedly, Washington is pressuring a Chinese company to block phones in use in countries and regions under sanctions.
In response, Xiaomi said it “temporarily” blocked some smartphones; to prevent and investigate potential smuggling that damages users’ information security and consumer rights. “The investigation has yielded significant results and the affected devices can now be unlocked,” a Xiaomi spokesman said.