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China isn’t happy with Apple amid Hong Kong protests

You can never please everyone

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China and Hong Kong are in a stand-off and Apple is stuck in the crossfire.

For months the people of Hong Kong have been protesting against the rising influence of Mainland China. The city is technically an autonomous region with its own government and a recent extradition agreement has received fierce resistance from the citizens.

Earlier, Apple got some flak when the developer of HKmap.live tweeted that it had been rejected for inclusion in the App Store over concerns it would promote illegal behavior during the protests. On the flip side, Apple carries apps that allow users to keep tabs on police or speed cameras elsewhere. The Cupertino-based giant reversed its decision soon.

Now, the app is topping charts in Hong Kong under the “travel” category. This decision was welcomed by pro-Democracy supporters, however, the Chinese government wasn’t too pleased with it.

China’s state media published an article on October 9, slamming the American tech giant for its approval of an app that has been “allowing the rioters in Hong Kong to go on violent acts.”

The article then cautioned: “The map app is just the tip of the iceberg”. It alleged that a song advocating “Hong Kong independence” had appeared on the “Apple Music Store” in the southern Chinese city, then issued an ominous warning.

It’s clear, Apple can never please both sides. In a bid to take a stand, the company ended up pissing-off people anyway. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here.

Apple has also removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from some iPhones, in a bid to balance the company’s relation with China. In doing so, it undermines its position on pro-Democracy followers since Taiwan and China have been involved in a decades-long struggle for ownership.

For Apple, China plays a very crucial role because its market share is neglible in the country. Most importantly, the majority of iPhones are assembled in China thanks to a partnership with Foxconn.

Enterprise

Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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Xiaomi brings the Mi TV P1 to the Philippines

4K UHD Android TV for your viewing pleasure

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Mi TV P1

Xiaomi truly has it all for you. Not only do they have a wide range of smartphones and devices, they also want to take over your living room with the Mi TV P1.

The Mi TV P1 is a 4K Android TV. It has all the bells and whistles that we’ve come to expect from 4K TVs. Other than being 4K UHD, the display has a 60Hz refresh rate with a 178°(H)/178°(V) viewing angle. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

On their website, it comes in four sizes — 32″, 43″, 50″ and 55″ making it a pretty accessible TV set for any household.

You can’t have a good display with subpar sound. For audio, the Mi TV P1 has a speaker sound output of 10 W + 10 W with support for Dolby Audio and DTS-HD. Looks good on paper but we’ve yet to experience how it actually sounds.

For connectivity, it has the following: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz, three (3) HDMI ports — one of which is eARC for a soundbar connection, two (2) USB ports, Composite In (AV), Ethernet Port, CI Slot, Optical Digital Audio Out, and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Powering the device is a MediaTek 9611 chip with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for all the TV apps.

The specs are a little different for the 32″ version. It has less ports and a lower resolution but still a good TV nevertheless.

As mentioned earlier, it has the Android TV interface that should be fairly easy to navigate. This means it’s also compatible with Google Assistant and it’ll be receptive to voice commands. It also has a 360 bluetooth remote so you don’t necessarily have to point it to the TV for it to work. There are also dedicated buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Price and availability

The Mi TV P1 will be available starting September 30, 2021. Pricing are as follows:

  • 55″ — PhP 24,990
  • 50″ — PhP 22,990
  • 43″ — PhP 18,990
  • 32″ — PhP 10,990

The Mi TV P1 Series can also be availed on a special early bird price with freebies from September 30 until October 1. Those who will purchase the 32” and 43” variants will get a free Redmi soundbar or PhP 8,990 and PhP 16,990 respectively.

A Mi Soundbar for the 50” and 55” variants will serve as freebies with price cuts at PhP 20,990 and PhP 22,990, respectively.

These offers will be available exclusively on Xiaomi Authorized Stores and in Xiaomi official stores on Shopee and Lazada.

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Xiaomi Pad 5 now in the Philippines

New tablet to consider

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Xiaomi Pad 5

Unfazed by the recent release of the new base iPad and iPad mini, Xiaomi is bringing over a tablet challenger to the Philippines — the Xiaomi Pad 5.

Meant for work, school, and then play, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is an all around tablet. You’re getting an 11-inch WQHD+ 120Hz display so you’ll definitely enjoy tapping on this slate. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor for all your work and play needs.

Taking work even further, you can pair it with the Xiaomi Smart Pen. Its 4096 pressure sensitivity and 240Hz touch sampling rate hopes to emulate a natural writing experience.

Here’s a rundown of the specs:

  • Display — 11″ WQHD+ 120Hz
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 860, Adreno 640 GPU
  • Audio — Quad speakers, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio
  • Configurations — 6GB+128GB, 6GB+256GB
  • Battery and Charging — 8720mAh, 22.5W wired charging
  • Included accessory — Xiaomi Smart Pen1
  • Colors — Cosmic Gray, Pearl White

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Pad 5 will be available on Xiaomi Authorized Stores starting October 1. Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — PhP 14,990
  • 6GB+256GB — PhP 19,990

A limited early bird price of PhP 14,990 and a free Xiaomi Smart Pen for the 6GB+128GB variant will be offered exclusively on Xiaomi Official Global Store via Lazada on September 24 only.

 

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