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German regulator launches investigation into Chinese mobile phones – POLITICO Europe

Germany is launching an investigation into the cybersecurity of certain Chinese mobile phones.

A spokesperson for the German Federal Office for Information Security confirmed the launch of the probe to the newswire DPA, according to news portal Tagesschau.  

The move comes after Lithuania’s defense ministry released a report earlier this week that found a dormant censorship configuration that can be activated remotely in one model of Xiaomi phones sold in Europe. Vilnius is now advising its citizens not to purchase these phones and throw out any that have already been bought.

According to the Lithuanian investigation, Xiaomi cellphones have the option of censoring terms such as “Long live Taiwan independence” or “Free Tibet.”

Xiaomi pushed back against the report, saying its devices “do not censor communications to or from its users. Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software. Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users.”

The Lithuanian report analyzed the Huawei P40 5G, Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G as well as the OnePlus 8T 5G mobile phone models.

Relations between Lithuania and China are fraught: China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania last month after Vilnius chose to boost diplomatic ties with Taiwan by setting up a representation on the island, which China claims as its own.

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