Lithuania’s Defense Ministry recommended users to avoid buying Chinese smartphones and says people to “Throw away their Chinese smartphones” after a government report found the devices had “built-in censorship capabilities” including in companies like Xiaomi, Huawei & in other Chinese brands.
Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said that, the Flagship smartphones sold in Europe by Xiaomi have a built-in software ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence” and “democracy movement”.
The Defense Ministry’s National Cyber Security Centre said that, The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G smartphone software had been turned off for the “European Union region”, but can be turned on remotely at any time.
Lithuania Defense Ministry Says to Thrown Away Chinese Phones” Due to Censorship
Defense Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius said in the report that, “Our recommendation is to not buy any new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible”
However, Xiaomi did not respond to a Reuters query on whole matter till now.
China demanded last month that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador in Beijing and said it would recall its envoy to Vilnius after Taiwan announced that its mission in Lithuania would be called the Taiwanese Representative Office.
The National Cyber Centre’s report also said that, “the Xiaomi phone was sending encrypted smartphone usage data in a Singapore-based server”.
They further said in the report that, A security flaw was also found in the Huawei P40 5G smartphone but OnePlus came out clean. Huawei’s representative in the Baltics told the BNS News wire its smartphone doesn’t send user’s data externally.
The report also said the list of terms that could be censored by the Xiaomi smartphone’s system apps, including the default Internet browser (or Mi Browser), currently includes 449 terms in Chinese and is continuously updating.
They also said in the report, “This is important not only to Lithuania but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment.”
Huawei also turns out to be the culprit when it was caught that its built-in app store, AppGallery, posed a security threat to users by automatically redirecting searches to third-party app stores known to host malware.
A threat comes bigger after the Center said “This is important not only to Lithuania but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment”.
Not to mention but India is Chinese phones biggest marketplace in the World that consumes most of their Products and Xiaomi is a big player here, whereas Huawei just belong here till now.
“Relations between Lithuania and China have recently taken a turn for the worse. China recalled its ambassador in Lithuania in August after Vilnius moved to set up a new diplomatic office in Taiwan.
Taiwanese missions in Europe and the United States use the name of the city Taipei, avoiding reference to the island itself, which China claims as its own.”
-Souces- Reuters, EuroNews, Politico
–Edited by- Amogh Gupta