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Xiaomi denies Ukraine's claim that it's an ‘international sponsor of war'

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On Thursday, Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption listed Xiaomi, the popular smartphone maker, as an international sponsor of war. The decision was made because Xiaomi continued operating in Russia and “is still the leader in smartphone sales in the terrorist state”. Not happy with this assessment, the Chinese company has issued its own statement explaining that its products are for civilian and commercial use, but not for war.

In its statement, the company said that it believes consumers anywhere in the world have a right to access communications tools and information on the internet. It went on to say that it rejects the assertion that it’s an international sponsor of war and doesn’t support any war actions. It concluded by saying:

“We fully embrace world peace. Our mission is to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technologies.”

From Ukraine’s perspective, it has seen Xiaomi increase its market share in Russia at the expense of Western brands which stood in solidarity with Ukraine. With higher sales, it means higher taxes paid to the Russian state which are then used to fund the war effort. Ukraine also points to the fact that Xiaomi is now recruiting for its Russian offices. Ukraine says this shows Xiaomi plans to restore full operations in Russia.

By adding Xiaomi to its list of war sponsors, Ukraine hopes to make cooperation with Xiaomi more risky and undesirable. Only time will tell if this is effective or whether Xiaomi successfully argues its defence.

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