Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China’s Xiaomi Proven to Covertly Contact Beijing out of the Box

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 10, 2014

China’s Xiaomi blatantly knocks off Apple everything.

From its phones to tablet and even Jobs, may he rest in peace.

Based on its Apple love and mimicry even down to aping the same product lines, it seems as if Xiaomi proves that if nothing else, China truly cannot innovate.

Xiaomi faux Apple real

While cribbing Apple seems relatively harmless, data theft is not. It has been claimed then proven that out of the box, Xiaomi’s Redmi phone is doing just that. As soon as you charge your Redmi, it establishes a connection with Chinese servers which are not part of a could computing system. These servers allegedly are part of Beijing’s internet monitoring apparatus.

So far Xiaomi’s response has been muted behind claims that they ‘comply with local laws’.

I guess we should not be surprised by a company whose mascot is. Bunny dressed like a Chinese soldier.
Pic and story from here

Report on how Xiaomi covertly connects with China:

Xiaomi phones have made the news off and on in the last few months for their cheap, value for money phones and corporate moves. More recently, there were also reports that these popular devices also silently sent out user details to a remote server. That news came on the heels of other reports of smartphones being pre-installed with suspect apps.

We thought we’d take a quick look into this, so we got our hands on a brand new RedMi 1S:

We started with a ‘fresh out of the box’ test, so no account setup was done or cloud service connection was allowed. Then we went through the following steps:

• Inserted SIM card
• Connected to WiFi
• Allowed the GPS location service
• Added a new contact into the phonebook
• Send and received an SMS and MMS message
• Made and received a phone call

We saw that on startup, the phone sent the telco name to the server api.account.xiaomi.com. It also sent IMEI and phone number to the same server:

xiaomi_data (137k image)

The phone number of contacts added to the phone book and from SMS messages received was also forwarded.

Read more

4 Responses to “China’s Xiaomi Proven to Covertly Contact Beijing out of the Box”

  1. […] good copying, to Shanzhai the bad. Aside from this, they need to learn to protect user data and be more forthright in such […]

  2. macintosh ling zhou said

    apple copy from china. china inventet the iphone first it is name call Xiamo . this is china idea and invent in china . . china invent all firstly so the apple foreigners copy all and stole from china !!!. now we take from foreigners thief back the chinese idea . freigners stole mall from china., apple is china invents!!! china leader of invent in world ! foreignjers too stupid to invent things ! .! ., ! we kill all foreigner in china !!!! also eat bad westerners food not chinese foood . so stupid people not like our chinese . i want the kill white foreigner in china much

    • Hi and thanks for the reply comrade ling Ling, aka zero zero. Could you do me favor and ask somebody to translate this into human? I didnt get your point.

      The only things China invented was infanticide and prostitution. They spent 1800 years building a fence, and just like most things made in china it didnt even work. Invaders merely went around it.

      Bring your A game or stick to Weibo and fantasizing about one day actually touching the hand of a Chinese ‘woman’.

      Thanks again!

  3. […] the Chinese NPC. I suppose it is thus not just a coincidence that both have been tied to claims of spying for […]

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