Lithuania's Defense Ministry 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 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.
The National Cyber Center's report also said the Xiaomi phone was sending encrypted phone usage data to a server in Singapore. A security flaw was also found in the P40 5G phone by China's Huawei, but none was found in the phone of another Chinese maker, OnePlus, it said.
Huawei's representative in the Baltics told the BNS news wire its phones do not send user's data externally.
The report said the list of terms which could be censored by the Xiaomi phone's system apps, including the default internet browser, includes 449 terms in Chinese and is continuously updated.