Being one of the most popular name in Indian tech industry, Xiaomi is an easy target for media and bloggers to turn over the spotlight to themselves and grab eyeballs in no time. One controversial Xiaomi story, and there you go minting thousands of views and people sharing it over social media like crazy. If just Xiaomi doesn’t work, get the most popular phone from the company, add spices, fool around a bit and clicks guaranteed. That is what happened with Redmi Note 4.
Soon after every tech publication started covering the alleged phone blast (opens in new tab), Xiaomi charged ahead and went over to hunt the truth behind the case. Xiaomi initiated an internal investigation immediately and dug roots of the case in no time. When we asked Xiaomi about the incident, we received a detailed statement exposing the reports and the video. The company stated “Recently a video has been shared across a few news publications claiming that a Redmi Note 4 unit experienced an explosive scenario. We would like to state that this video has no relation to Redmi Note 4 (opens in new tab) or any other Xiaomi device."
Xiaomi categorically clarified each aspect from the report, Xiaomi stated that Arjun bought the phone from Poorvika Store in Bengaluru on 1st June 2017. The phone was damaged at his home on July 17th and he took the phone to the same store on the day itself.
The store informed Xiaomi about the issue who took the phone back and looked into it. Xiaomi stated, "After a thorough technical investigation, we found out that the damage was caused due to a faulty third-party charger used by the customer. In addition, there were signs of physical damage on the phone as well.”
“Despite the customer-induced damage, we worked with the Poorvika store where the unit was bought, and replaced the customer's damaged unit with a brand new Redmi Note 4 on Monday, 24th July 2017. We advise our customers to only use Xiaomi authorised chargers and accessories”, the company stated.
Not just this, Xiaomi went on to debunk every element of the video that ‘allegedly’ had Xiaomi phone in flames. Here’s what Xiaomi’s statement said—
"Regarding the video being circulated, we would like to clarify the following points:
1. The video was attained from a random WhatsApp group, and has nothing to do with the recent Redmi Note 4 case.
2. In fact, there is no evidence in the video to suggest that the device is a Redmi Note 4 or any other Xiaomi phone.
3. The video is not from the aforementioned Poorvika store, or any other Poorvika store. On further investigation, we found that the CCTV video was from a retailer in Anamangad, Kerala. Xiaomi India only started selling devices at 3G and Fone 4 stores a few weeks ago in Kerala.
4. The CCTV video was recorded on a different date, not 1st June (when Arjun bought the phone) or 17th July (when his phone got damaged).
5. The customer in the video is not Arjun. He has confirmed to Xiaomi that the people in the video do not include or represent him or any of his relatives."
We independently confirmed the video is fake as well. There are multiple instances of the video on YouTube, each time maligning a different smartphone brand. Each with the date on the CCTV footage cropped. One of the videos published on July 17th was uncropped and the date was on 7th of March, 2017. Not 1st June. Not 17th July.
When we investigated the video closely, we found the same CCTV footage dated back to March 7 2017. The video was first posted on YouTube on July 15 while the reports stated the date of the incident to be July 17. This says it all, case closed.
In the end, Xiaomi emphasised that customer safety is the utmost matter of concern for the company and even cautioned its users not to use unauthorised accessories. The company added, "To all our Mi Fans, we would like to re-emphasise that safety is of utmost importance to us! All of our devices go through stringent quality tests to ensure that you get the best quality. We will once again encourage everyone to only use Xiaomi authorised chargers and accessories."
Looking at what happened, it’s quite evident that Xiaomi is the victim and incidences like these are not just unhealthy for the brand but also upsetting. We as journalists carry huge responsibility of educating our readers with well investigated and factually correct information. Sharing similar thoughts, Xiaomi ended the statement with a well needed message for all of us, it says,"It is unfortunate that a member of the technology blogging fraternity used a video of an unrelated incident attained from a WhatsApp group, and merged it with the above-mentioned case involving Arjun, without doing any investigation. We find this behaviour very irresponsible and disturbing. We are currently evaluating legal action against this publication."
(Image credits- TechCase)