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Business News/ Companies / News/  Xiaomi to make new version of MIUI to adhere to India’s apps ban

NEW DELHI: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which leads the Indian smartphone market in terms of sales, is developing a new version of its MIUI software to adhere to the Indian government’s ban on Chinese apps. Xiaomi’s apps, including Mi Browser Pro and Mi Community, were amongst the apps that were on the banned list. Xiaomi India Head, Manu Jain, posted a statement on Twitter on Friday announcing that the company is complying with the ban.

"We want to clarify that none of the apps blocked by the Indian Government are available for access on any Xiaomi phones launched in India," Jain said. "We are developing a new version of MIUI that will be built without pre-installation of any of the blocked apps."

MIUI is the operating system that Xiaomi runs on its smartphones, and is an important part of the company’s business model.

Jain said the company has been storing data of Indian users in the country since 2018 and will continue to do so. He also claimed that such data has never been shared with anyone outside of the country. He said the company "reserves the right" to take legal action against those spreading misinformation about its apps and the ban.

The company’s Mi Browser had come under fire recently for collecting user information, but the company has refuted the allegations. The company preloads a suite of its own apps onto phones it sells in India. These include apps meant for video and music playback, security, web browsing and also Xiaomi’s own ecommerce store, Mi Store.

The company, like all others in the banned list, has sent its responses to the Indian government’s 77 questions and is awaiting an individual hearing from the government.

The blocked apps include popular short-video platform TikTok, which is owned by Chinese startup Bytedance. Apps like Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba Group’s UC Browser and UC News have also been banned by India.

Prasid Banerjee
An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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Updated: 07 Aug 2020, 12:28 PM IST
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