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Consumer banned from publicly commenting on Xiaomi smartphone combustion

(People's Daily Online)    16:52, December 27, 2016
Consumer banned from publicly commenting on Xiaomi smartphone combustion

According to Beijing Morning Post, a Redmi Note 3 smartphone, bought by a consumer in March 2016, spontaneously combusted while charging on Dec. 21. A Xiaomi official promised to refund and compensate the consumer on the condition of her signing a confidentiality agreement, prohibiting her from commenting publicly on the event.

The woman, surnamed Zhang, said that the phone started to discharge smoke 10 minutes after it began charging on Dec. 21. It then spontaneously combusted, burning the SIM card and her bed sheets. Zhang added that she used the original charging device and did not know what caused the phone's combustion.

After several conversations with the Xiaomi’s customer service representatives, Zhang was promised a full refund plus an additional 600 RMB($86) as compensation -- just as long as she agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement.

“The agreement prohibited me from commenting on the event to any media outlets, or on public networks or communication platforms. It was like hush money,” said Zhang, who ultimately agreed to sign the agreement.

Not long after, however, a Beijing-based lawyer, Zhang Xinnian, argued that the confidentiality clause in the agreement was invalid. The merchant’s intention to cover up the complaint goes against relevant provisions of contract law. Therefore, the confidentiality clause is invalid, while the indemnity clause is still legitimate.

Zhang also pointed out that, as there are so many Xiaomi smartphones on the market, the Administration for Industry and Commerce must launch a prompt investigation to minimize potential risks, ensuring the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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