All future Xiaomi phones will come with the Aarogya Setu app pre-installed if asked to do so by the government, Xiaomi India managing director Manu Kumar Jain said in a video conference call. Aarogya Setu is a COVID-19 contact tracing application launched by the Centre. There have been reports that the government is looking to make the app mandatory for all new smartphones in India. Jain said that Xiaomi is prepared to do so if it receives a directive from the government, which the company has not at the moment. Xiaomi is among the many OEMs that has resumed services in India after the restrictions were eased in areas marked as green and orange zones by the government. The company is now selling and gearing up to launch new smartphones in the country.
Xiaomi has made it mandatory for its employees to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones, the Indian Express reports. This is in line with the latest guidelines of the government of India for all public and private sector employees. Jain said it has urged all its employees to sign-up to the app, which help detect COVID-19 cases and prevent the spread of the virus. Despite the ongoing privacy issues and concerns that the app is a surveillance tool, Jain reiterated the government’s position that the app is safe to use. “There shouldn’t be a problem in downloading and using the app,” he added.
The Xiaomi executive has also requested consumers and Mi Fans to download the Aarogya Setu app. “We can have posters put up and request consumers to download the Aarogya Setu app but definitely can’t force them,” he said.
The Aarogya Setu app has so far been downloaded over 83.2 million users in India. The app uses Bluetooth and location data to inform users if they are at risk of coronavirus through contact tracing. It also keeps track of the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, symptom checker for possible infection, instructions on how to self-isolate, and official information portal for government communication pertaining to the pandemic.