A well-known security firm, Bluebox, recently claimed that they found malware in Xiaomi's Mi4 handset. This (understandably) upset many owners of the said device, and brought the company under the spotlight. Well, it seems like that's not the case, and the Mi4 is clean, anyhow, read on. We were contacted by Xiaomi, and the company claims that the tested device is a counterfeit product purchased on the streets in China through an unofficial channel. The company says that third-party companies / developers tend to temper with software which originally comes installed on devices in China, and that there are also a ton of counterfeit products sold in China which are almost indistinguishable from the original.
Xiaomi assures us, that their products are completely malware-free, and that the company is taking measures to crack down on manufacturers which sell counterfeit devices and people who tamper with their products. The company also recommends you to purchase their devices through authorized channels, through their official Mi.com webshop, and a number of their partners (mobile carriers and a couple of retailers like Flipkart). This China-based smartphone manufacturers also claims that MIUI is true Android, contrary to what Bluebox has stated, and that MIUI follows exactly Android CDD (Google's definition for Android devices). They also say that MIUI passed every single one of Android's CTS tests, which confirm complete Android compatibility, this can be said for every single Xiaomi device that was launched thus far.
There you have it folks, it seems like the device that Bluebox tested wasn't exactly the original Xiaomi device. The seems to be doing everything they can in order to tackle counterfeiters, though there are a lot of manufacturers which are pushing such devices out to the market. It is always recommended that you purchase devices through official channels, that can be said for every brand, not just Xiaomi. We'll make sure to let you know if any additional developments occur in the following days, of course. If you'd like to share your thoughts, feel free to do so in the comments, we'd love to hear what you have to say.
UPDATE: We have just received some additional info from Xiaomi regarding this whole case. The company reports that Bluebox has also confirmed that the tested device is indeed a counterfeit product, and the whole investigation is inaccurate because of it. You can access Bluebox's updated article here. Xiaomi has examined the device in detail, and has concluded that this is not the original device. The device's hardware is significantly different that it's supposed to be, IMEI number is cloned and the installed software is not an official MIUI build (the device was also rooted out of the box).
UPDATE 2: Xiaomi has concluded their investigation, and Bluebox has also updated their article. This device is confirmed to be a counterfeit, Xiaomi has proved that their devcies do not come with malware pre-installed, Bluebox has jumped to conclusions on this one it seems. You can read more about it in a link provided above.