While addressing the recent ban of Xiaomi apps in India, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer said it is developing a new version MIUI that wouldn’t include the blocked apps.
The tweaked MIUI update will roll out to users in a staged manner over the next few weeks, Xiaomi said in a tweet. In other words, MIUI 11 and MIUI 12 users can expect a lightweight OTA (Over-the-air) update soon.
This comes only a few days after India banned Mi Browser Pro, Xiaomi devices’ default browser app. Since the border clash between India and China, a strong anti-China sentiment has developed across the country. Previously, the Indian government banned a list of 59 Chinese apps, which includes TikTok, UC Browser, and a handful of Xiaomi apps, namely Mi Community and Mi Video.
India reasoned that Chinese apps stole user data and transmitted it to servers outside India, therefore posing a threat to the country’s security.
In today’s post, Xiaomi has assured that it complies with all “data privacy and security requirements under Indian law.” Responding to the government’s reasoning behind the ban, Xiaomi said that data from its Indian users has not left the country since 2018 and “100% of it is stored on servers located in India.”
Other than this, Xiaomi India also claimed that their MIUI Cleaner has no connections to Clean Master by Cheetah Mobile, a popular phone cleaner that was listed in the Chinese apps ban. Last month, we observed that Xiaomi uses the “Clean Master” definition in its default cleaner app. Therefore, we offered a way to remove the app since Xiaomi doesn’t allow users to remove pre-installed apps.
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In the post, Xiaomi has said that “Clean Master” is a common name, and the MIUI Cleaner app only uses “industry definitions that are vital to the functioning of the app.” Regardless, Xiaomi has decided to remove the definitions to clear the confusion.
Mi Browser, along with the Mint browser, has previously been found tracking and recording private data of millions of Xiaomi users, so we certainly won’t miss it in the new version of MIUI. However, it would have been better if Xiaomi took this opportunity to allow the removal of all pre-installed apps. There is always an unofficial way to do it, but we would have liked an easy way to remove bloatware.