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Chinese smartphones locked in Vietnam

Tuan Hung Thursday | 02/23/2023 13:18

A network lock notice appears when a Vietnamese SIM card is inserted into a Chinese Realme GT Neo 5 phone. Photo by Minh Khoi

Several Chinese smartphone models that have been activated in Vietnam remain unusable due to network locks.

Minh Khoi in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District said he had bought a Realme GT Neo 5 via an unofficial channel (smartphones carried to Vietnam by individuals, not by official distributors), but most of its functions had been disabled.

He said the store that sold the phone to him was also surprised by the system lock and had to stop selling the model.

The GT Neo 5 is currently only officially available in China, but its low price has attracted users in Vietnam.

Two other Chinese phone models, the Realme 10 Pro + and OnePlus 11, have also been displaying a network lock when activated in Vietnam recently. However, with OnePlus 11, users have been able to fix the problem by resetting the phone.

Khoi contacted Realme customer service in China, but they asked for a genuine purchase receipt. Therefore, he had to pay a service to unlock the phone for VND500,000 ($21).

"The device is currently usable, but I’m still worried about whether it will get locked again in the near future," he said.

Realme Vietnam has not yet responded to the incident.

According to technology expert Tuan Ngoc, Chinese phone makers such as Oppo, Realme and OnePlus can use the network lock feature to protect their products in a specific country.

The price of a smartphone carried home from abroad by travelers can be 20-30% lower than the price offered by authorized resellers, he noted.

Source: VnExpress

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