India bans Mi Browser Pro; Xiaomi says it is complying with all data privacy requirements under Indian law

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August 05, 2020 11:46 AM

A Xiaomi spokesperson said the company was still awaiting the government order and that it complied with all data privacy and security requirements under the Indian law.

miThe Mi Browser Pro does not come pre-installed on Xiaomi phones. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Xiaomi’s controversy-ridden Mi Browser Pro has reportedly been banned in India. The ban is part of the government’s wider crackdown on apps with links to China and is directed towards ensuring the safety and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace. It seems the regular Mi Browser, which is the default browser in all Xiaomi phones, is allowed for now. The Mi Browser Pro does not come pre-installed on Xiaomi phones and is available on the Google Play Store – the app has been removed at the time of filing of this report.

Financial Express Online reached out to Xiaomi India for comment. A company spokesperson said the company was still awaiting the government order and that it complied with all data privacy and security requirements under the Indian law.

“Xiaomi continues to comply and adhere to all data privacy and security requirements under the Indian law. We are working towards understanding the development and will take appropriate measures as required. As part of the process, we will work with key stakeholders for an opportunity to make our submissions,” the Xiaomi spokesperson said in a statement.

There are reports that suggest a ban on the Mi Browser Pro would impact performance of Xiaomi phones but that’s highly unlikely. As mentioned before, the Mi Browser Pro does not come pre-installed on Xiaomi phones, and even if someone has been using it, they can easily switch to another browser.

On June 29, the government had banned 59 Chinese apps for reportedly engaging in activities which were prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The list included apps like TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser, Helo, Likee, Virus Cleaner, Beauty Plus, WeChat, UC News, Weibo, Xender, Bigo Live, Cam Scanner, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, and others. Xiaomi’s Mi Community app was also part of the list. Another 47 apps, supposedly clones of many of the above-mentioned Chinese apps, were banned in India a month later.

This isn’t the first time Xiaomi’s Mi Browser Pro (and Mi Browser) has come under the radar for privacy concerns. Until recently, Xiaomi’s in-house browsers allowed the company to keep tabs on what users were doing on their Mi and Redmi phones while browsing even in incognito mode. Xiaomi now allows Mi and Redmi smartphone users to opt-in or out of this “unwanted” feature of their phones.

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