The perils of a Chinese company making phones for Indian users are slowly becoming clear.
Xiaomi’s users have alleged that the company’s phones aren’t displaying weather for Arunachal Pradesh. Xiaomi is a Chinese company, and China contests the status of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. As such, users believe that Xiaomi phones not showing weather for Arunachal Pradesh is a subtle sign by the Chinese brand that Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t belong to India.
“What is this Xiaomi? I can’t find Arunachal Pradesh weather on miui weather app,” wrote a Twitter user showing a screenshot of weather results for Itanagar, Arunchal Pradesh’s capital, showing no results on their Xiaomi phone.
Another user had the same problem. ” Xiaomi default weather app showing no result on searching Itanagar and other places of Arunachal Pradesh,” the wrote with a screenshot.
Another user attached a whole video showing that weather from Arunachal Pradesh wasn’t visible on Xiaomi phones. ” This is my Oppo A5 2020 @oppomobileindia why it doesn’t show ‘ARUNACHAL PRADESH’ in weather app,” they saod.
Some users started tagging Xiaomi’s management for answers. “Why are we unable to add Leh Town or any cities of Arunachal Pradesh in our weather app on Xiaomi phones? Can you please respond in this issue @manukumarjain,” a user said, tagging Xiaomi India MD Manu Kumar Jain.
The matter was also raised by one of India’s most prominent YouTubers, Technical Guruji. “This was very surprising and concerning for me (that these names weren’t showing),” he said. “Please check your phones and tell me if the default weather app on Xiaomi phones shows cities from Arunachal Pradesh,” he continued.
These are exactly the sort of concerns that had previously promoted the Indian government to ban over 200 Chinese apps. Chinese apps like TikTok had managed to create significant user-bases, and could’ve been weaponized by China to promote their propaganda. Xiaomi too hadn’t been untouched in the ban, with several of its apps, including its Community app and Video calling app, being banned.
But Xiaomi’s phones appear to be subtly carrying out Chinese propaganda by themselves. By not showing weather data for Arunachal Pradesh on their apps, Xiaomi phones are toeing China’s line that Arunachal Pradesh is not a part of India. This, of course, has serious security implications, and one wonders if the government will India will step in and take note.