Germany to Investigate Chinese Mobile Phones for Possible Censorship

A spokesperson for the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) confirmed that the country will be investigating the cyber security status of Chinese mobile phones for possible censorship features.

A recent report from Lithuania’s Defense Ministry said that Chinese mobile vendor Xiaomi sold phone units in Europe that had a built-in feature to censor content.

Germany’s BSI garnered reports that some of the units in question also included Huawei’s P40 5G, Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G, and the OnePlus 8T 5G mobile. Lithuanian officials requested consumers to avoid Chinese phone brands or dispose of them if they own one.

Department of European Studies from China Institute of International Studies Director Cui Hongjian said that Germany’s action had a “political tone” as the country wanted to evade the pressure it faces in the European Union on issues relating to China. 

Cui said, “If those Chinese phones have any problems, it should have been found first in other EU countries like Germany where information technology is more advanced than in Lithuania.”

Xiaomi has yet to respond to Germany’s inquiry and nullified Lithuania’s report last week by saying that the company does not censor communications to or from its users, and will never regulate user-related activities.

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