People buying Xiaomi smartphones in Cuba or Sudan were surprised that the company does not allow its products to be used in these regions.
Xiaomi is currently one of the most popular, if not the most popular smartphone brand on the market. Moreover, the company achieved this result by being absent from some very important, if not key markets. I mean primarily the United States, where there is no official distribution of Xiaomi phones and equipment. This does not mean, however, that these devices are not physically there. People, thanks to Aliexpress and similar services, download Chinese manufacturer’s products there on their own. And in such United States there will be no problem with Xiaomi phones working normally. However, there are countries where Xiaomi smartphones simply will not work.
In these regions, Xiaomi smartphones simply turn off
Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Crimea – if you are going to visit any of these locations (although they are mostly not top tourist destinations), your Xiaomi phone will simply turn off after a few days. What’s more – Xiaomi itself is responsible for such an action. Under Xiaomi’s terms of contract, these 6 destinations are listed as prohibited for export.
The company itself, however, does not control where the buyers ordering the goods come from, which is why not so long ago several would-be users of Xiaomi smartphones noticed with sadness that a few days after the shipment arrived, their phone simply stopped working. So far, it is not known whether the problem concerns only phones activated in these regions (i.e. launched for the first time or after the factory reset) or whether Xiaomi phones from outside them will also be treated similarly if someone goes there for tourist purposes.
I think that in such situations it is better to breathe cold and not take Xiaomi smartphones on such a foreign trip.
Xiaomi in an official statement said that it does not aim to block any specific markets, and that the blocking of users’ devices results from “a supra-regional ordinance that aims to prevent smuggling through the shadow economy and protect the security of user data.” At the same time, Xiaomi admitted that some devices were blocked due to an ongoing smuggling investigation. A spokesman noted that “the investigation is now at a stage where the affected devices could be unlocked.” This statement, if true, sheds some light on the matter, but does not solve the main problem – is it safe to use Xiaomi equipment in these regions, or if the company discovers that it is used there, it will decide on another “investigation”.