Lithuania’s defense ministry has warned consumers against using mobile phones made in China and urged them to dispose of them.
A report by the National Cyber Information Center was based on that researchers found that “Xiaomi” phones contain censorship software, and that Huawei phones are vulnerable to electronic attacks.
Huawei’s management said that it does not send data to third parties.
“We recommend not to buy new Chinese phones and get rid of old phones as soon as possible,” Lithuania’s deputy defense minister Margres Apokaviius said.
It was found that the Xiaomi phone Mi 10T 5GThe report said it has programs capable of recognizing expressions such as “independent Tibet,” “long live for Taiwan’s independence” and “democratic movement”.
The report drew attention to 449 linguistic expressions that may be censored in Xiaomi phone applications, including internet browsers.
This feature has been disabled in these phones in Europe, but the report says that it can be restarted remotely at any time.
Xiaomi has not yet responded to the BBC’s request for comment on the matter.
The report also found that Xiaomi devices transmit encrypted data to a server in Singapore.
“This is important, not only for Lithuania, but for all countries where Xiaomi devices are used,” the National Cyber Information Center said.
Xiaomi has grown significantly in popularity due to its affordable devices, and the company saw a 64 percent increase in revenue in the second quarter of the year compared to the previous year.
The report pointed to vulnerabilities in Huawei’s P40 5G phone, exposing users to cyber attacks.
According to a joint statement by Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense and the National Center for Cyber, “The official website of Huawei Applications directs users to third-party online stores, and upon careful investigation some applications have been found to be malicious or cyber viruses.” the protection.
A Huawei spokesperson told the BBC that the company complies with the laws of the countries where it operates, and prioritizes cyber security and privacy.
“Data is not processed outside the device. We only collect the data we need so that our customers can discover, download and use third-party apps just like other app stores.” Huawei also makes sure that the apps users try to download are secure.
They also tested another device using the 5G network created by OnePlus and found that the device did not have any problems.
The publication of the report comes at a time when relations between Lithuania and China are getting strained. Last month, China asked Lithuania to withdraw its ambassador, saying it would withdraw its ambassador from the Lithuanian capital in return.
Disagreements between the two countries began when Taiwan announced that its representation in Lithuania would be renamed “Taiwan Representative Office”.
Taiwan’s embassies and representatives in Europe and the United States use the name of the capital Taipei to avoid referring to the island as a country, as China considers it part of its territory.