Indian Government Orders Probe on Chinese Phones after Twitter User Reports

Indian Government Orders Probe on Chinese Phones after Twitter User Reports

Indian government has announced probe into phones from Chinese manufacturers, especially Realme smartphones, after a Twitter user with handle @rishibagree reported that the phone could be recording usage data. In a message shared on Twitter, Bagree claimed that his Realme smartphone has a feature called Enhanced Intelligent Services. As per his claims, this feature is capable of capturing call logs, SMS and location information for the users. The feature is turned on by default in Realme smartphones.

Indian government acted swiftly and has ordered a probe into the matter. In response to Bagree’s tweet, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology, responded that it will be checked by the department.

Many mobile applications have access to location information and many apps also have access to additional information like call logs, SMS. This isn’t anything new but the swift action announced by Union Minister is new. Indian government has been taking any issues related to Chinese products seriously. Many popular mobile apps (including very popular app Tik-Tok) and games were banned by Indian government.

Realme has not yet responded to the issue. Such issues usually get a lot of attention on social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit.

European and US authorities have raised issues related to Chinese companies and apps keeping user data on servers located in China. Chinese government has access to a lot of information stored in servers hosted in China. Many popular apps have shifted the data location to outside China in order to allay privacy concerns of users.

Indian government has been strict with Chinese companies operating in India. In the recent times, MG Motor has been pushed by Indian regulations to sell stake to Indian partner. It is possible that Mahindra & Mahindra or JSW’s Sajjan Jindal could acquire controlling stake in the company. MG Motor is currently owned by Shanghai-based SAIC Motors. SAIC Motors recently announced that the Chinese parent will reduce its stake in the company. Discussions are ongoing and this could soon result in M&M taking over control of the company.

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