Every now and then, Xiaomi unveils new smartphones that are only bound for specific regions and countries. While it never took steps against users exporting these gadgets outside those markets, the Beijing-based company is getting down to business this time.

Users in Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Crimea who imported Xiaomi smartphones are reporting that their devices have been remotely blocked by the company. It’s not clear if users in other unsupported regions are affected.

Xiaomi Mi 9T

Related: Xiaomi products price list

Once blocked, affected phones display a message on their lock screen, with the gist being Xiaomi not permitting the sale and use of the product in the region where the phone was attempted to be activated. Blocked phones are rendered useless, effectively becoming expensive paperweights.

Even before it got serious in blocking imported devices, Xiaomi’s export policy already states that it does not allow the sale of its devices outside its intended market. Should a user decide to export the item to a region where it is prohibited, the policy states that the user must get an export license or similar government approval first.

Xiaomi smartphone owners worried about the company’s suddenly proactive approach to its export policy may try to install a custom ROM as a potential workaround.

Source: Android Authority

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