[Updated] Xiaomi Clean Master app (by Cheetah Mobile) showing up on your phone despite ban by Indian govt? Company responds
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on July 15, 2020) follows:
Amid the rising tensions between India and China, the Government of India made the decision to ban 59 Chinese applications in the country. The list of banned apps includes TikTok that you can know more about here.
These applications were banned citing security and privacy risks. Out of the 59 applications, Cheetah Mobile’s Clean Master app was also on the list. There have been numerous reports suggesting that all apps from the company steal user data.
However, Xiaomi continues to use Clean Master as the default cleaning tool on Xiaomi devices. About a week ago, we reported about the new privacy concerns with the Poco M2 Pro. Reviewers noticed that the app had a few banned applications pre-installed.
Therefore, the company wrote an open letter to explain the situation. But it seems that the Clean Master application is still present on many Xiaomi devices. Moreover, Xiaomi also disabled its Mi Community application and Mi Community website to comply with the government.
Concerned users have been seeking a response from Xiaomi about the presence of the app on their devices. Finally, it seems we have a clear picture on how the company is going to address the situation. Thanks to a Redditor who shared the e-mail sent by Mi India’s customer support.
Here’s the entire message from the customer support team from Xiaomi:
Greetings from Mi India Customer Support and sharing the screenshots with us. I am Divya and I understand that you want to remove clean master from all Indian phone variants running MIUI. Also, you want to know about the updates for the same in your POCO F1.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. Please do not worry, I will assist you with it.
I would like to inform you that you will get an update for a cleaner app, the new version is 4.1.2 which will take care of the removing extension Clean master. These updates will be pushed via system updater.
Also, as the Security app in MIUI phones used uses plug-in/definition of Clean Master which is one among the 59 apps banned by Indian Govt. We are not using the Clean Master app directly instead the service is used in the name of Cleaner under the Security app. Hence, users don’t have an option to uninstall Clean Master. So, Xiaomi is pushing a Soft Update (Update happens in the background without any notification) to remove the Clean Master Service from the Security app.
Once the update is automatically applied, our users will continue to see the Cleaner section in the Security app but it will not be the one from Clean Master instead it will use Xiaomi’s own Cleaning definition.
I hope the provided information will help you. If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact us.
Regards, Divya Mi India Customer Support
The same user also shared the screenshot of the e-mail message.
Based on this information, it seems Poco F1 users will be receiving an update to version 4.1.2 that will ditch the Clean Master tool. Furthermore, it will be replaced by Xiaomi’s own phone cleaning software.
Of course, we can expect the same outcome for all other Xiaomi smartphones in India. But there is no ETA provided but the update will be applied automatically if and when it becomes available. In the meantime, you can check out our MIUI 12 and Xiaomi Android 10 update trackers.
Update 1 (August 25)
After installing the latest MIUI 12 update on the Poco X2, many users are reporting that the banned Clean Master definition is back. Users have shared screenshots of the settings page that shows the option to select Clean Master for scanning the device. See the full story here.
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