How secure are Chinese smartphones?

Over the last several years, Chinese smartphones have gained a very lousy reputation when it comes to privacy, owing to a variety of factors including a lack of customer trust and the fact that global political events have not been particularly kind to China. China's worldwide image improved significantly in the mid-2010s, owing mostly to China's entry into the smartphone market and developments in 4G and 5G technology.

The market for smartphones is now one of the most rapidly developing areas of the technology sector worldwide. The number of mobile devices sold around the globe has skyrocketed from 100 million in 2007 to over 1.5 billion, which saw the advent of the smartphone revolution. Because smartphones are the most frequent way of connecting to the internet, companies that operate in this sector are vital to the development of the technology sector.

We saw the original Apple iPhone debut 14 years ago in 2007, which surely signaled the beginning of a new era of information. We've seen huge players like Samsung join the market throughout the years, and more lately, Chinese competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi have been eating up worldwide market share with their low-cost handsets. Moreover, Oppo and Vivo, which have a tiny but consistent market share and are even gaining popularity in the United States, should not be overlooked.

Apple has never been as successful in China as it is elsewhere, owing to the country's preference for domestic produce and local brand loyalty. Having said that, Apple has always been in demand there. Outside of China, however, Apple has controlled the smartphone industry for a long time, and the whole globe often lies in anticipation of their next news conference and the release of their next iPhone. For many years, market supremacy was exchanged between Apple and Samsung, with Samsung ruling the majority of the time.

However, the worldwide smartphone market has shifted recently. With such strong competition (Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei) on the horizon, as well as Apple's extremely expensive pricing for its current products, Chinese competitors have adapted and established a stable market hold for the foreseeable future. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are now a serious rival for the established giants, offering the similar minimalist design approaches that Apple is renowned for, as well as entirely redesigning their marketing efforts. Finally, the US and EU markets are the most significant target markets for Chinese smartphones.

However, there seem to be severe privacy concerns that are impeding Chinese smartphones and their image.

What is the issue with Chinese smartphones?

There are a number of Chinese companies that are now producing smartphones on the market, with Huawei and Xiaomi being the most well-known and popular brands in countries other than China. The majority of customers may not be acquainted with some of the other "cheaper" businesses, such as Honor and Realme. There are a great number of other Chinese smartphone manufacturers, perhaps too many to list here.

What difference does it make whether you want to buy a Chinese smartphone or if you already own one, given the amount of political tension that exists between the United States and China? Unhappily, Chinese smartphones have been afflicted with a number of privacy and security issues, which may be broken down into the following categories:

•  Spyware already installed

•  Vulnerabilities when it comes to malware

•  Data theft

•  "Backdoors" in Hardware

•  Encryption-related flaws

Moreover, there are extra hazards involved with downloading particularly popular Chinese social networking applications, in addition to the malware that comes pre-installed on Chinese devices. Some examples of these risks include:

•  TikTok

•  WeChat

Conclusions for your smartphone's overall security

Let's not forget, now that we've covered the reasons why there is such a lot of bad buzz about Chinese smartphones and the privacy issues they pose, that a large part of this has to do with the political tensions that exist between China and the United States. Allegations of espionage, hacking, and danger to data have been made an extremely high number of times. In addition to that, there is an additional fact that is more significant for the typical user. Android, which has a far bigger user population and is thus more vulnerable to assaults because of the size of its user base, is the foundation upon which Chinese phones are built.

Let us highlight one thing: certainly, it is difficult to declare that these technologies are safe; but, the question is: what really is safe in this day and age? Should this make you, the regular person, think twice about purchasing a smartphone made in China? It is difficult to say what constitutes "security" at this time, and whether or not governments will try to gain access to your phone depends heavily on who you are and how sensitive your data is.

However, if you are concerned about your privacy, there are a few steps you should take for your own protection and peace of mind, regardless of the device you are using or the nation in which it was manufactured; the following is a list of these steps, which you may read below:

•  Always utilize a reputable virtual private network (VPN)

•  Consider the possibility that iOS is more secure than Android in general

•  Make sure your phone is protected by a strong password

•  Ensure that multi-factor authentication is used at all times

•  If at all possible, avoid sharing critical information online

•  Keep your smartphone's software up to date at all times

•  Never use suspicious applications or access third-party app marketplaces