Lithuanian government: Throw away Chinese smartphones

Xiaomi. Source: Jon Russell/flickr

A recent report by the Lithuanian government has come across censorship tools in Chinese-made smartphones. The Lithuanian defense ministry recommends avoiding Chinese phones and getting rid of existing ones.

"New phones by Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi can detect and censor such phrases as 'Free Tibet' or 'Long live Taiwan independence' or 'democracy movement'," Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.

"Some software functions of Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G have been switched off in the EU region but can be reactivated remotely at any moment," the agency added.

"Our recommendation is not to buy new phones by Chinese manufacturers and get rid of existing ones as soon as possible," said Margiris Abukevicius for the Ministry of Defense.

The report also found that the tested Xiaomi phone sent encrypted data to a server in Singapore.

A security flaw was also found in a Huawei P40 5G phone, while no vulnerabilities were detected with another Chinese manufacturer OnePlus' device.

A representative for Huawei Baltic said that the company's phones do not forward user data to outside parties.

Relations between Lithuania and China have soured in recent months. Chinese demanded Vilnius remove its ambassador to Beijing in August because Lithuania allowed Taiwan to establish a mission, which China considered a provocation.

U.S. President Joe Biden's security adviser Jake Sullivan talked to Lithuanian PM Ingrida Simonyte last week and pledged U.S. support for withstanding Chinese pressure.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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