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NEW DELHI : Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is blocking users from activating its devices in regions where the company doesn’t do business. Reports from users on social media, including Reddit and Facebook, have reportedly been increasing over the past week. Devices exported to countries where Xiaomi’s smartphones aren’t sold have been getting a message to stop activations.

India and China are Xiaomi’s biggest markets but most of the company’s smartphones are designed to run on networks all over the world. With worldwide fame, many users have been importing Xiaomi’s phones to other markets through various websites that ship globally, despite the fact that Xiaomi’s terms and conditions prohibit such sales.

“Xiaomi policy does not permit sale or provision of the product to the territory in which you have attempted to activate it. Please contact the retailers directly for additional information," the message tells users. The problem is apparently being seen by users in Cuba, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Crimea.

“...since a few days, people have been facing this issue (20+ cases that I'm aware of) where their phones, after a few days of use, are suddenly locked and on the screen," a user who claims to be from Cuba wrote on Reddit.

The smartphone giant has been expanding the areas where its phones are sold over the past few years, but its reach still pales in comparison to companies like Samsung and Apple. Xiaomi doesn’t provide a full list of countries where it sells devices, but it is yet to enter the North American and many European markets.

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