German IT security watchdog examines Xiaomi smartphone

Germany’s federal cybersecurity watchdog, the BSI, is conducting a technical examination of a smartphone manufactured by China’s Xiaomi.
Xiaomi store in rural India
A spokesperson for the interior ministry confirmed the development to Reuters on Wednesday. But the spokesperson did not provide further details on what kind of examination the agency was carrying out.

Lithanua’s state cybersecurity body said last week that Xiaomi smartphones had a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as Free Tibet, Long live Taiwan independence or democracy movement.

Xiaomi said on Monday it was engaging a third-party expert to assess the allegations by Lithuania that its smartphones carry built-in censorship capabilities.

The company was not immediately available for comment on the German probe.

Xiaomi emerged as the top smartphone vendor in Europe for the first time in the second quarter of 2021, shipping a record 12.7 million units there, research firm Strategy Analytics said.

Xiaomi has enjoyed a surge in market share following the enforcement of U.S. sanctions against Huawei Technologies, which crippled its once-dominant smartphone division.

Germany has security concerns about using technology from Chinese companies such as Huawei in its 5G network rollout after U.S. calls for banning the company, saying its equipment could be used to support Chinese state spying.