New Delhi: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Monday said it will be setting up a data centre in India next year, to store data of local users. The move follows media reports about privacy issues which the company believes could hamper its overseas growth.
Recent reports suggests that the Indian Air Force( IAF) had advised its personnel and their families not to use the Xiaomi Redmi 1 S or the Mi 3 models, citing a report by international digital security agency F-Secure claiming the phones were sending user data back to Beijing.
On Monday the Chinese company said it had been moving Indian users' data from its Beijing data centre to data centres of Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing platform of the online retailer Amazon.com Inc, in Singapore and the United States since early 2014. It said that process would be completed by the end of the year.
"We are trying to get to the bottom of this. So far, we have not heard anything from the IAF or any other authorities and have only read media reports. We will reach out to authorities and engage with them to address any concerns that they might have," Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra said.
Earlier this year, security solutions provider F-Secure had, in a report, demonstrated how a Xiaomi Redmi 1S phone was sending data, including the user's IMEI, phone number, and phone numbers of contacts added to the phone book to a remote server.
Barra said the company collects data only with the user's permission to offer specific services like cloud.
"We don't have a revolutionary product. Like many other messaging services, we also offer messaging, backup, cloud services to our customers. We also have the highest standards of encryption to ensure that users' data is safe," he added.
He said the company has already started migrating data of its international users (non-Chinese) to data centres in the US and Singapore.
"The migration process, which began earlier this year, will be completed by the end of October and will benefit users in international markets, including our customers in India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan," he added.
Xiaomi entered the Indian market in July this year with its Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone priced at Rs. 13,999 through e-Commerce major Flipkart. It currently has another device Xiaomi Redmi 1S in the country. It is estimated that the firm has sold about half a million Redmi 1S devices and 1.2 lakh Mi 3 handsets.
(With Agency inputs)