The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense has warned consumers that they should get rid of their Chinese phones and avoid buying new ones.
This comes after a report was released by the National Cyber Security Center, which tested fifth-generation phones from Chinese manufacturers.
Researchers have determined that one of the Xiaomi phones has built-in monitoring tools, while another Huawei model may be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
In turn, Huawei responded that user data is not shared with third parties.
“Our recommendation is not to buy new Chinese phones and get rid of existing ones as quickly as possible,” said Deputy Defense Minister Margaris Apockevicius.
The report claims that Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10T 5G phone was found with a software in able to detect and monitor anti-China terms, including “Free Tibet”, “Long Live Taiwan Independence” or “Democracy Movement”, according to the BBC. “Al Arabiya.net”.
The report highlighted more than 449 terms that could be censored by Xiaomi phone system applications, including the default internet browser.
In Europe, this feature has been disabled on these models, but the report says it can be enabled remotely in any time.
Xiaomi did not respond to a request for comment.
The research also found that a Xiaomi device was transmitting encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore.
“This is important not only for Lithuania, but for all countries that use Xiaomi equipment,” the center said.
The smartphone maker has grown in popularity with its more affordable models, seeing a 64% increase in revenue in the second quarter over the previous year.
The report also highlighted a flaw in the Huawei P40 5G phone, which puts users at risk for cybersecurity breaches.
A joint statement released by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense and its cybersecurity agency said Huawei’s App Store directs users to stores online third-party applications, where some applications have been rated by antivirus programs as malicious or virus-infected.
A Huawei spokesperson told the BBC that it respects countries’ laws and regulations in which it operates and prioritizes IT security and privacy.
“Data is never processed outside of Huawei devices,” he added.
He continued: “Huawei’s App Store collects and processes only the data necessary to allow its customers to search, install and manage third-party apps, in the same way as other apps. store”.
He said Huawei is also conducting security checks to ensure that the user only downloads “safe apps”.
One of the OnePlus phones, which runs on fifth generation technology, was also reviewed by the team, but it turned out that he had no problems.
The report comes with the escalation of tensions between Lithuania and China. Last month, China asked Lithuania to remove its ambassador from Beijing and said it would withdraw its envoy from Vilnius.
The dispute began when Taiwan announced its missions in Lithuania would call themselves the Taiwan Representative Office.
Other Taiwanese embassies in Europe and the United States use the name of the country’s capital, Taipei, to avoid referring to the island itself, which China claims as its territory.
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