The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense has recommended consumers avoid purchasing Chinese cell phones and discard existing cell phones.

As Lithuania's state cybersecurity agency announced on Tuesday, according to a government report, built-in censorship functions had been found in cell phones.

The cell phones sold in Europe by the Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp would recognize and censor terms such as “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”, according to the agency.

A security hole has also been found in P40 5G phones from the Chinese manufacturer Huawei.

"Get rid of it as soon as possible"

"Our recommendation is not to buy new Chinese phones and get rid of those already bought as soon as possible," Deputy Defense Minister Margiris Abukevicius told reporters when presenting the report.

The Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi has not yet responded to a request from the Reuters news agency with a request for comment.

Relations between Lithuania and China had deteriorated recently. China last month demanded that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador in Beijing and announced that it would call back its ambassador in Vilnius. The reason for this was that Taiwan had announced that it would name its diplomatic mission in Lithuania "Taiwanese Representation Office".