What are the key factors consumers should consider when buying the latest smartphone? Performance, price, design, brand value, and more. However, as smartphones become the center of information devices, there is a point that needs to be taken more seriously. That's security. No matter how good the design and satisfactory performance of a smartphone, if my information leaks somewhere, there is no consumer who can use it with confidence.
In this regard, it is the security controversy regarding Chinese smartphones that has been continuously raised recently. Chinese brand smartphones have very good price/performance ratio in mid-to-low priced phones. Many companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are doing well in the global mid-to-low-end market. It is not an exaggeration to say that it has eroded almost all other markets, except for iPhones in the high-end market and Samsung Electronics in the mid-priced market. However, it means that the personal information of users who use these widely distributed products is at risk.
Recently, there has been a controversy over the security of Chinese smartphones. Chinese smartphones are showing very good quality in mid- to low-end phones. Many companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are doing well in the global mid-to-low-end market. It is not an exaggeration to say that it has eroded almost all other markets, except for iPhones in the high-end market and Samsung Electronics in the mid-priced market. However, concerns have been raised that the personal information of users who use these widely distributed products is at risk.
Of course, there were some exaggerated facts about China's smartphone security controversy. In the case of Huawei, which was sanctioned by the U.S. government, it was suspected that a suspicious backdoor was found in the communication equipment, not the smartphone itself, or that there was an unknown hacking chip. Crucially, the US government asserts that Huawei's top-level governance is not disclosed transparently at all. The rest of the Chinese brands have never had critical security issues.
But this time, a problem arose with the Xiaomi smartphone, a Chinese brand that is well-received in South Korea. According to Reuters on September 21, Lithuania's defense ministry recently raised the question of censorship of Xiaomi phones in a government report. They announced that they had discovered a function that could detect terms such as “democracy movement”, “long live Taiwanese independence” and “freedom for Tibet” in new models such as Xiaomi’s Mi 10T.
According to the report, the software resides inside a smartphone system app and is currently capable of censoring 449 words. The number of censored words is steadily increasing through updates. Although this feature has not been activated within the European Union (EU), it is said that it can be operated remotely at any time. If Xiaomi wants to, it can be activated at any time depending on the region. There are also reports that Xiaomi smartphones continuously send mobile phone usage information to a server in Singapore.
Suddenly, one of the joked posts on the South Korean internet community comes to mind. When a Chinese smartphone user sees a funny post and smiles, the leader in China also smiles. It is a parody of the fact that the Chinese government also sees what users see in real time. If what was reported above is true, then this post is no joke.
For example, suppose that the smartphone sold by Xiaomi in South Korea one day cannot input contents such as 'Tiananmen' or 'Taiwan' at all. Also, suppose that the time when the smartphone user accesses which internet site and what posts he sees is sent directly to the Singapore server. Can such a smartphone be used with confidence?
Lithuania's deputy defense minister said, "I recommend not to buy a Chinese-made smartphone, and if you have already bought it, throw it away as soon as possible." Lithuania does not currently have diplomatic problems with China, and there is no reason to create a particularly extreme conflict. So this is the greatest warning a country can give.
Currently, the range of choices that users can choose from in the South Korean smartphone market is very narrow. The high-end models include Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy. In the mid-range market, there are Samsung products. In the low-cost market, there are very few products that can be purchased other than those made in China. Sony's smartphone market share is too low, and the rest of the domestic companies have also been wiped out. However, the security problem of Chinese smartphones has become a serious issue.
Now is the era of handling and processing personal key information with smartphones. In this era, security is very important. Xiaomi recently announced that it would overtake Samsung to become the second largest player in the global market. However, if this is the case, it will be difficult to grow any more, at least in developed markets. If it is a Chinese product that does not properly explain this controversy, it is clear that South Korean users will also be ignored. I hope that these companies change.
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