The Lithuania's Defense Ministry recommended their citizens to avoid smartphones which are manufactured by Chinese companies. They also advised people to throw away the phones which they already own. The decision comes after a government report found that the devices had built-in censorship capabilities which is a threat to the freedom of speech, security and privacy.
The government of Lithuania investigated and found out that all the top notch flagship smartphones which are sold in Europe by China's Xiaomi have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Long live Taiwan independence", "Free Tibet," or "democracy movement."
The National Cyber Security Center said in the report that the capability in Xiaomi's phone software had been turned off for the 'European Union region,' but can be turned on at any time.
Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius said, "Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible."
According to reports, the list of censored terms in the Xiaomi phone's system apps includes 449 terms in Chinese and are continuously updated daily.
The relationship between Lithuania and China has deteriorated during recent times over the issue of Taiwan. There are indications of a new cold war between the US and China.