- Xiaomi now says its smartphones that it blocked from being used in certain markets are now unblocked.
- The company claims that it wanted to make sure the phones were not being smuggled into countries and sold on the grey market.
- However, those phones should now be working once again.
Late last week, reports came in that a number of Xiaomi phones that had been imported into certain markets were no longer working. Those phones were located in markets where the company has no official presence. Now, according to Global Times, a Xiaomi spokesperson said those phones should be working once again.
The phones were remotely locked by Xiaomi in markets like Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and the Crimea region. Those markets are not allowed to sell Xiaomi phones. However, some people purchase Xiaomi handsets in legal markets and bring them to the banned countries to use.
In its statement, a Xiaomi spokesperson said that the company locked out those phones because of an ongoing investigation. The company was concerned the phones were being sold on the grey market in those banned countries. However, it looks like everything has been resolved. The spokesperson’s quote said, “The investigation has achieved significant results, and the affected devices can be unlocked now.”
Keep in mind that, officially, Xiaomi’s policy is to not allow any of its products to be exported to the listed countries and regions where its phones are banned. However, it seems like Xiaomi is just going after active grey market smugglers who are bringing its phones into banned markets and reselling them. It is apparently looking the other way if people just purchase a Xiaomi phone in a legal market, and bring it into a banned one just to use, and not to resell.
One interesting statistic, via StatCounter, is that Xiaomi phones take up 15% of the total smartphone market in Cuba, even though it officially is banned in that country.