Xiaomi’s policy change regarding the installation of Google services on a product designed for the Chinese market is a risk for those who import their smartphones. Indeed, the latest MIUI update can simply block Google services … Attention!
The first Xiaomi products, especially smartphones, were popularized around the world thanks to the Chinese market. We could import these products through Chinese platforms and sellers, long before Xiaomi officially distributed its products to the world.
As a reminder, Xiaomi designs models both for its domestic market and for the international market. Even though these models are visually very similar, they differ in many ways, especially with software.
Regarding Xiaomi smartphones designed for the Chinese market, since they are products for the Chinese market, Google services (Gmail, Google Maps, Play Store, etc.) are not pre-installed. Many sellers on the AliExpress platform, for example, have therefore exported Xiaomi smartphones by manually installing Google Mobile Services. Some products are even sold without GMS… it’s up to you to install them.
Even today, it can be financially interesting to import a Xiaomi product … but you have to be doubly careful.
MIUI 12.5 blocks the installation of Google Mobile Services
In addition to customer support and a warranty that differ from the products marketed by Xiaomi France, you may find yourself with a disabled smartphone. Indeed, the media Gizmochina has just revealed that Xiaomi has changed its policy related to Google Mobile Services (GMS). Specifically, if you bought a Xiaomi smartphone originally designed for the Chinese market and have MIUI 12.5 update installed on it, Google Mobile Services may simply stop working. You will no longer have access to the Play Store as well as many Google applications.
Note, however, that these are only smartphones designed for the Chinese market. If a Xiaomi smartphone is advertised as ” Global » (international) this means that it was designed for distribution outside the Chinese market, so it has Google services pre-installed as a base. It is therefore important to pay attention to the origin of the imported product if you buy a Xiaomi smartphone from AliExpress or other sales platforms. Note that some of these products for the Chinese market are also found on the marketplaces of online merchants, including Cdiscount or even Amazon.
Xiaomi has not communicated the list of models affected by this policy change, some users have reported that the Redmi K30 Ultra and Redmi 10X 5G (which can be found under the name Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 in France) are among the models that do not support GMS applications.
It is important to carefully check the provenance of the Xiaomi product you are going to buy, whether you are using AliExpress, Amazon, Cdiscount or any other online shopping site.