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Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 Reportedly Blocks Some App Installations in China, Users Worried About Surveillance

China’s largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi, on Tuesday launched its latest OS software — MIUI 13 — for its recent flagship products. However, many smartphone users who upgraded to the latest firmware in China have raised concerns that Xiaomi is preventing some mobile apps from being installed on their handsets. This has prompted discussions about the new anti-fraud function that the company released in the latest firmware.

According to a report from South China Morning Post, a Xiaomi Mix 4 user who works as a programmer told that the MIUI 13 had blocked him “from installing an app that lets users quickly switch between 5G and 4G networks.” The issue reportedly persisted even when the user had turned off the security check option. However, the report said that he was suddenly able to install the same app on Wednesday evening. This event has prompted questions over the newly introduced anti-fraud feature in the latest operating system.

MIUI 13 Prevents Installation of Several Apps, Xiaomi Mum on the Issue

It’s quite ironic to see that some apps that are banned in mainland China, such as ExpressVPN and YouTube, remain unaffected. The user said, “I am worried that my phone will become a monitor.” He further said that he was “considering replacing the firmware with the overseas version.” Upon trying to install the 5G switch app, the user received a message saying “installation is prohibited by relevant laws and regulations”

Xiaomi's MIUI 13 Reportedly Blocks Some App Installations in China, Users Worried About Surveillance
Image courtesy: South China Morning Post

In another instance with a Mi 11 Ultra user, the MIUI 13 blocked him from installing an app called “BiliRoaming” that allows users to install apps directly without resorting to app stores. A similar message appeared when he tried to install the app with the security check option turned off.

Xiaomi, responding to a request for comment, said, “There are some misunderstandings towards a feature called ‘Smart Identification of Unknown Number'”. As a company spokesman explained, the feature helps users determine whether an incoming call is from an advertiser, a courier, or a scammer. Although no one from the company responded to questions about whether the feature blocks applications.

Punkaj Kumar

An engineer by profession, tech geek, writer, and a passionate blogger. I love to write on topics related to smartphones, computers, and innovative technology.

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