With all the talk of boycotting smartphones manufactured in China, many users are wondering if they should join the fray. Is your security at risk? Let’s explore. Chinese smartphone manufacturers came under fire from the US government for spying on users, and being a threat to national security. These allegations were followed by a global backlash that led users, not just in the US but all over the world, to start questioning whether their smartphone manufacturer was spying on them.

So, the question we’re faced with today is: should we be afraid of Chinese phones? Should we buy that Vivo V19 that we so badly wanted, or go with an Indian brand, or save up for an iPhone?  We’re going to go over a few general facts that tie in to the argument. Based on these facts, users can decide whether or not investing in smartphones from Chinese brands in the future, is a good option.

#1 Google spies on you too. So does Facebook.

As do a lot of apps. If you sat and went through the fine print that you agreed to when you installed all of your apps, you might be amazed to see just what you’ve agreed to sharing. Were you just talking about sunflower seeds, only to see an ad or article about them on your home-screen or your social media feed?

Did you message a friend a picture of a beautiful green blazer you saw in a shop window, only to receive an advertisement featuring a very similar green blazer within a few hours after you sent that picture? This is an alarming reality of course, but it is a blanket truth, not one only true of select Chinese smartphone brands.

#2 Who owns the specific companies accused of being spies

Huawei’s CEO-owner was once a high-ranking official in the engineering corps of China’s army, and the Chinese government has a stake in ZTE. These are the two companies that are being accused of spying on users. The US government is perhaps right in being alarmed, but once again, experts argue that the danger posed might be limited to users in defense or political positions.

#3 Deja-vu, multiplied by two

The US government cracked down on Kaspersky anti-virus previously for similar reasons, but not much update has been provided since. That raises questions on the government’s credibility.

However, Huawei and ZTE are also in a credibility soup because they have been accused not only by countless US-based firms, but also by each other for industrial espionage. But industrial espionage is as old as the industry itself, and would once again mean that only a certain section of the population — CEOs or executives who have trade secrets to protect, are at risk.

#4 Everyone is manufacturing at least chipsets in China anyway.

Most brands have chipsets coming in from China anyway, so the question of not using China-manufactured smartphones in order to prevent spying, seems to be moot. 

#5 Pricing

At the end of the day, as buyers we are looking to get a good deal, especially if everyone is spying on us anyway. Chinese brands typically offer better value, and for buyers who consider price to be the ultimate deciding factor, Chinese manufacturers are still going to be the first choice.

Best mobiles under 10,000 INR, in all probability are only available from Chinese manufacturers. Try typing “under 10000 best mobile” into search and what do you find? Most likely Oppo A12, the Redmi 8, and the Realme C17.

Maybe you are in politics or defense; perhaps you have trade secrets, or maybe you value your privacy enough to not want to risk having a phone manufactured in China. You are open to spending a little more to avoid a Chinese smartphone, even if you might not be able to come up with the entire sum at once.

If this situation sounds familiar, or if you often find yourself wanting gadgets that you cannot pay for right away, why not use the Bajaj Finserv EMI Network Card to pay for your smartphone in easy monthly instalments? The option to pay via EMI is available on almost all e-commerce platforms, along with retail outlets.