Xiaomi: After an express recommendation by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense for the country’s consumers to throw away Chinese smartphones, as they would have built-in censorship features, Xiaomi spoke this Wednesday morning (22) in a statement sent to the Android Authority website .
In the note, the Chinese manufacturer guarantees that its devices “do not censor communications to or from its users”, and that the company “will never restrict or block any personal behavior of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software”.
However, the official statement does not at any time deny that the company’s devices have resources to remotely censor information, as Lithuanian authorities claim, or that they have previously blocked keyword lists, such as “Free Tibet”, “life long to Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”.
What does the Lithuanian government say?
The controversy began on Tuesday (21), with a Reuters report in which the Lithuanian government’s cybersecurity agency said, in a report, that some cell phones made in China have the ability to remotely detect and censor certain specific terms . In the list, the Xiaomi Mi 10T, the Huawei P40 and the OnePlus 8T were specifically mentioned.
It is important to note that the report states that purported content filtering was disabled by default on Xiaomi phones sold in Lithuania and the European Union, as it would presumably be aimed at Chinese consumers. But Vilnius experts ensure that such a function can be activated remotely at any time.
The release of the censorship file, called “MiAdBlocklist” in the report, which suggests more affinity with ad apps, comes at a time of tension between the governments of the two nations, which soured after China ordered the withdrawal of the Lithuanian ambassador Beijing after the opening of a Taiwanese diplomatic office in Vilnius.