The Lithuanian government alerted its citizens to discard a Chinese-made phone, in particular those manufactured by its main exponents: Xiaomi and Huawei. And as if that were not enough, the Executive He directly advised against buying a new one, in a clear message for the rest of Europe.
“Our recommendation is not to buy new Chinese phones and get rid of the already purchased ones as quickly as possible“Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius said recently.
This warning arose as a result of a report by the National Cyber Security Center that tested 5G mobile phones developed in China, according to the news site of the BBC.
Xiaomi, in the crosshairs
In the report of the Lithuanian specialists, Xiaomi’s flagship phone, the Mi 10T 5G, launched in September 2020, has software that could detect and censor terms specifics such as “Free Tibet”, “Long Live Taiwan Independence” or “Democratic Movement”.
It was also highlighted that more than 450 terms could be censored by factory installed applications on the Xiaomi phone system, including the default internet browser.
In Europe, this feature had been disabled on these models, but the report maintains that it could be enabled remotely at any time.
The researchers also said they found evidence that the Xiaomi device transferred encrypted data of using the phone to a server in Singapore.
The Chinese smartphone maker has recently become popular after promoting affordable models, posting a 64% increase in revenue in its second quarter compared to the previous year.
Huawei, another of those involved
The investigation also impacted Huawei’s P40 5G phone, launched in May 2020, which put users on cyber security breach risk.
Like Xiaomi, Huawei was also the target of criticism from the Lithuanian government. Photo: REUTERS.
“Huawei’s official application store, AppGallery, directs users to third-party electronic stores where some of the applications were evaluated by antivirus programs as malicious or infected with viruses,” said a joint statement by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense and its National Cyber Security Center.
Precisely, the operating system is the most questioned of Huawei equipment since the veto of Donald Trump became official. As could be seen in models like the Huawei P40 Pro, the Lite version does not include Google apps as standard.
The Lithuanian team of researchers also examined another 5G model from OnePlus, one of China’s leading manufacturers, although in the report they acknowledged that he had no security problems.
The publication of this document comes at a time when tensions between Lithuania and China are increasing.
Tension with China grows
Last month, the eastern giant demanded that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador from Beijing and said that, in turn, he would do the same with his diplomat from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.
The dispute originated when Taiwan announced that its missions in Lithuania would be called the Taiwan Representative Office, in a position against the regional dispute it maintains with the People’s Republic of China.
Other Taiwanese embassies in Europe and the United States use the name of the country’s capital, Taipei, to avoid a reference to the island itself, which China claims as its own territory.