Lithuania on Tuesday urged its citizens not to buy mobile phones from the Chinese company Xiaomi. According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, the facilities have a built-in ability to recognize and censor content that bothers Beijing, Reuters reported. The Chinese company did not respond to the Lithuanian ministry’s claim.
“Our recommendation is not to buy new Chinese mobile phones and get rid of the purchased ones as much as possible,” said Lithuanian Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius.
According to the findings of the local cyber office, the new devices from the Xiaomi company have a built-in ability to recognize and censor content that the regime in Beijing does not like. These include the sentences “Free Tibet” or “Long life for an independent Taiwan” and about 400 other words and expressions. In devices destined for the market in the European Union, this capability is deactivated, but according to the Lithuanian authorities, it can be launched remotely.
Relations between Lithuania and China have been strained in recent weeks after Taiwan, which considers Beijing a rebel province, announced a change in the name of its representation in Vilnius. It intends to rename it the Taiwanese representation. Elsewhere in Europe, it uses a name that refers only to the capital Taipei. China subsequently called its ambassador to Vilnius for consultations. She called on Lithuania to do the same with its ambassador to Beijing.