The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities.
Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.
The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time, the defense ministry’s National Cyber Security Center said in the report.
“Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” Lithuanian Deputy Minister of National Defense Margiris Abukevicius told reporters in introducing the report.
Xiaomi did not respond to a query for comment.
Relations between Lithuania and China have soured recently.
Last month, China demanded that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador in Beijing and said it would recall its ambassador to Vilnius after Taiwan announced that its mission in Lithuania would be called the “Taiwanese Representative Office.”
Taiwanese missions in Europe and the US use the name of the city Taipei, avoiding a reference to the nation itself, which China claims as its own territory.
Last week, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and stressed the US’ support for her country in the face of pressure from China.
The National Cyber Security Center’s report also said that the Xiaomi smartphone was sending encrypted usage data to a server in Singapore.
A security flaw was also found in the P40 5G phone by China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) but none was found in the phone of another Chinese maker, OnePlus (一加), it said.
Huawei’s representative in the Baltics told the BNS news wire that its phones do not send user’s data externally.
The report said that the list of terms that could be censored by the Xiaomi phone’s system apps, including the default Internet browser, currently includes 449 terms in Chinese and is continuously updated.
“This is important not only to Lithuania, but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment,” the center said in the report.
ANTI-COERCION: EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said the EU wishes to bolster relations with Taiwan within the framework of its ‘one China’ policy The EU is to further its engagement with Taiwan to defend democracy, freedom and an open market, while bolstering cooperation in semiconductor supply chains, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday. In her remarks at a European Parliament plenary session focused on Taiwan-EU relations, Vestager referred to China’s increasing military presence in the Taiwan Strait, including flying missions off the southwest coast of Taiwan. “This display of force may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity,” she said, adding that the EU encourages all parties to avoid any unilateral actions that might increase tensions across the Strait. “We Europeans
DOWN, NOT OUT: The election was not a total defeat, as Chen still received 73,433 votes against the recall, and his party has ‘grown up’ through the process, he said Voters in Taichung yesterday recalled Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟), making him the first legislator in the nation’s history to lose a recall election. A total of 77,899 votes were cast to recall Chen, while 73,433 voted against, the Taichung City Election Commission said, adding that 51.72 percent of the city’s second electoral district turned out. The Central Election Commission is to confirm the final figures within the next seven days, it said. Commission data showed that there are 294,976 eligible voters in the second district, comprised of Dadu (大肚), Shalu (沙鹿), Longjing (龍井), Wufong (霧峰) and Wurih (烏日) districts. Chen won
MILITARY RESOLVE: Washington does not want a cold war with Beijing, it just wants ‘China to understand that we’re not going to step back,’ Biden told a CNN town hall The US would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the nation China claims as its own, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday, although the White House later said there was no change in policy toward Taiwan. “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall meeting when asked if the US would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has been facing mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty. While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long
AFTERSHOCKS LIKELY: A hiker was hurt by falling rocks at the Taroko National Park, while a tower crane was damaged at a construction site in New Taipei City A series of earthquakes yesterday injured several people, damaged buildings and disrupted transportation. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck 8km northeast of Hualien County Hall at 12:38pm at a depth of 23.8km, the Central Weather Bureau’s Web site showed. It was followed at 1:11pm by a magnitude 6.5 quake centered near Yilan County’s Nanao Township (南澳) at a depth of 66.8km. A magnitude 5.4 earthquake followed less than a minute later, with its epicenter near the county’s Datong Township (大同), at a depth of 67.3km. A magnitude 4.2 quake again struck Nanao at 2:05pm at a depth of 63km. The magnitude 6.5 earthquake was the strongest