- NET Web Desk
Consumers of Lithuania have been advised by the country’s Defense Ministry to avoid buying mobile phones of Chinese companies. They have also issued an advisory asking people to dispose of current Chinese handsets. Recently a government report has found built in censorship capabilities in Chinese handsets.
According to a Reuters report, “phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”, Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday”.
Defence Ministry’s National Cyber Security Centre said in the report has informed that even though the censorship function has been turned off in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software for the “European Union region”, but can be turned on remotely at any time.
“Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” Reuters quoted Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius in its report.
Reuters has informed that Xiaomi did not respond to its query for comment.
For some time now Lithuania-China has not been on the best of terms. Beijing demanded Lithuania recall its envoy as Taiwan renames its office in the European country as a Taiwan Representative Office.
The report also informed the Xiaomi phones were sending encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore.
The report said the list of terms which could be censored by the Xiaomi phone’s system apps, including the default internet browser, currently includes 449 terms in Chinese and is continuously updated.
“This is important not only to Lithuania but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment,” the Centre said in the report.