Xiaomi Denies Censorship Accusations from Lithuania

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi denied accusations that its devices have built-in censorship features after Lithuania’s defense ministry recommended that people throw away their Chinese smartphones.

“Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software,” a spokesperson said.

Lithuania’s National Cyber Security Center released a report on Sep. 21 saying it found cybersecurity risks in Chinese manufactured Xiaomi and Huawei phones.

The report alleged that an expanding list of 449 terms in Chinese are automatically censored by the phones’ system apps, including phrases “Free Tibet” and “democratic Taiwan”.

Censorship features are automatically blocked for the “European Union region”, the report claimed, but can be turned on remotely anytime.

Xiaomi also denied another claim that said its devices were sending phone usage data to a server in Singapore, which could violate European regulations.

“Xiaomi complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation,” said Xiaomi’s spokesman.

The allegations came amid a diplomatic spat between Lithuania and China after Beijing recalled its ambassador to the Baltic country for allowing Taiwan to open an embassy under its own name.

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