News Brief

Centre Has Sent Notices To Chinese Smartphone Manufacturers Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus; Why?

  • As per reports, the union government has sent notices to Chinese smartphone makers Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus asking hardware and software details, particularly pre-installed apps, for concerns related to security.
  • Bhaswati Guha Majumder Monday, October 18, 2021 10:56 am IST
    Centre sent notices to Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus.
    Centre sent notices to Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus.

    The Indian government took a bold step by banning 220 Chinese apps in the country last year. According to a new report, the authorities are now targeting Chinese smartphone makers with notifications asking details on the data and components used in the devices—a result of concerns related to security.

    The Morning Context reported that according to Counterpoint Research, the companies in question are Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus, who together account for more than half of the Indian smartphone market.

    The purpose of the research is to determine whether the smartphones sold by these Chinese companies are safe for Indian users. Following the original request for data and component specifics, the Indian government is expected to issue another notice requiring the testing of these devices.

    Since the Indian government's reprisal against Chinese apps last year, Chinese smartphone firms have actively pushed their "Indianness" while also increasing local production and investment.

    However, some of the investments promised to the government by the four Chinese companies were not fulfilled, according to the report, and the latest notifications are alleged to be reprisal. Oppo, Vivo, and its sub-brand iQoo had the most investment plans that were not pursued among the companies named. However, it is unclear why Xiaomi is involved in this case, given that it has already made investments, according to the report.

    The notifications, according to The Economic Times, are expected to be part of a bigger crackdown on Chinese enterprises in India.

    It could possibly be related to the government's inquiry of components used by Chinese telecom firms such as Huawei and ZTE. As per the report, hardware and software details, particularly pre-installed apps on Chinese cellphones, may be scrutinised.

    With the letters sent out, these Chinese brands are allegedly panicking because there is little clarity on how the investigation will be carried out and what else could happen next.

    As reported previously, in Lithuania, after a government assessment revealed that the Chinese devices had built-in censorship capabilities, the country's Defense Ministry advised users to avoid purchasing Chinese mobile phones and to throw away the ones they already owned.

    It was said that Xiaomi Corp's flagship phones marketed in Europe have the potential to detect and block terms like "Free Tibet," "Long live Taiwan independence," and "democracy movement," according to Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity commission.

    According to the National Cyber Centre's investigation, the Xiaomi phone was also transferring encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore. Reports said that a security weakness was discovered in Huawei's P40 5G phone, but none was discovered in the phone of another Chinese manufacturer, OnePlus.

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