Xiaomi asks independent third party to assess censorship allegation by Lithuania
Published: Sep 27, 2021 03:45 PM
Xiaomi photo:VCG

Xiaomi photo:VCG

Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi said on Monday that it is engaging an independent third-party experts to assess censorship allegations raised by the Cybersecurity and Information Authority of Lithuania (NCSC), reiterating data  security of Xiaomi devices and compliance practices of its business operations.

Xiaomi's new statement came as the NCSC's report claimed that Xiaomi flagship phones sold in Europe have a built-in ability to detect and censor certain content.

The report points to Xiaomi's use of advertising management software that has the limited ability to manage paid advertising content delivered to devices through Xiaomi apps such as Mi Video and Mi Browser.

"[The software] can be used to shield users from offensive content, such as (content of) pornography, violence, hate speech, and references that may offend local users. This practice is common in the smartphone and internet industry worldwide," Xiaomi said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday, referring to similar practices adopted by Facebook, Google and other companies.

As for the NCSC's allegation of inappropriate data management, Xiaomi said the company is fully compliant with all requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, including handling, processing and transfering of end-user data.

"Our compliance applies to all systems, apps and services. Any use of personal data is contingent on the valid consent of the end-user and is always in accordance with local or regional laws and regulations of the EU and its member states," the statement reads.

"We are committed to the privacy and security of our users. We operate with the highest standards and comply with all local and regional regulations," Xiaomi said. 

Xiaomi became the world's second largest smartphone vendor for the first time in the second quarter of 2021, with a 17 percent share of the global market, according to statistics from Canalys.

Following the release of the NCSC report, Lithuania's Defense Ministry recommended that the country's consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people who already own one to avoid using it. .

Lithuania's allegation of Xiaomi's censorship capability came amid deteriorating China-Lithuania relations after the Baltic country in July allowed the island of Taiwan to set up a "representative office" under the name of "Taiwan," which is in direct violation of the one-China principle. 

Global Times
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