Lithuania asks its citizens to get rid of Chinese smartphones over concerns of censoring “Free Tibet”, Taiwan and other keywords

Lithuania asks its citizens to get rid of Chinese smartphones over concerns of censoring “Free Tibet”, Taiwan and other keywords
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  • Lithuania recommends its citizens who have already bought Chinese smartphones to “get rid of them as fast as reasonably possible”.
  • Some of the censored keywords include “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence”, among other contentious issues for China.
  • Lithuania’s Defence Ministry noted that Xiaomi maintains a list of keywords that is continuously updated.
Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has recommended its citizens to avoid buying Chinese smartphones after a government report revealed that these devices come with built-in censorship capabilities.

“Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” Lithuania’s Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius was quoted by Reuters as saying.

According to the ministry’s findings, these censorship capabilities target words like “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence”, and “democracy movement”.

The report further adds that the capabilities have been turned off for the European market, but that they could be turned on remotely at any time.

In total, the report concludes that there are 449 terms which could be censored by Xiaomi phones. It adds that the list is continuously updated, which means Xiaomi could add or remove terms on a regular basis.


This is not the first time that Xiaomi has been at the centre of security concerns. Earlier last year, a Forbes report had accused the company of recording private data of its users through the preinstalled browser on Xiaomi devices.

The report also pointed out that the Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G was sending encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore. Additionally, a security flaw was also discovered in the Huawei P40 5G.

Apart from this, tensions between Lithuania and China have been frayed for quite some time now. Just last month, China demanded the withdrawal of Lithuania’s ambassador to China after Taiwan announced that its mission in Lithuania would be called the Taiwan Representative Office.


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