Sony responds to Baidu spygate storm; reassures no data shared

by XB on 1st November 2014

in Applications, Problems

SpyEarlier this week, we reported on an issue present in a number of stock Sony Xperia firmware builds that involved a mysterious “Baidu” folder appearing on phones. This folder couldn’t be deleted and what made it worse was that it was making regular pings to Chinese servers. The folder itself was created by the myXperia location application, but it was unclear what was being transmitted.

Well Sony has now responded to the ‘spygate’ claims and reassured that its users have nothing to worry about. They confirm that Sony Xperia phones do not transmit any user data to Baidu. The activity simply relates to Baidu Push Notifications, a common standard in China.

The myXperia application initialises both the Google Cloud Messaging and Baidu Push Notification framework when first activated. The current version of the app uses both systems regardless of where the user is located. However, Sony has promised an update to myXperia is on the way that will only include the Baidu Push Notification framework in Mainland China Xperia variants. Hopefully, this reassures Sony Xperia customers that nothing sinister is underhand.

Rickard – Sony Xperia Support

“I’ve had some further feedback from the guys in our development team. I can confirm that Xperia phones don’t store any user data for transmission to Baidu. The MyXperia app supports both Google Cloud Messaging service and the Baidu Push Notification framework, as do many third party apps, to make sure we can support our China customers as well as those in the rest of the world. Both get automatically initialised when you first activate MyXperia. The IP activity you are seeing is just linked to Baidu’s push notification system, which is an expected behaviour for this application.”

Future updates of MyXperia will be optimised so the Baidu Push Notification framework is only initialized in Mainland China variants of Xperia devices. But as these services are common standards in the industry, other 3rd party applications may also include Baidu Push Notifications or other Baidu services, resulting in the Baidu folder being shared between such applications. Sony Mobile fully reassures all its customers that MyXperia uses a push notification system and does not store any user data for transmission to Baidu.”

Magnus Hilding – Lead Developer of MyXperia at Sony Mobile

“We built the app using both protocols to ensure both our Chinese and global users could enjoy MyXperia. However, we’ve designed later versions to package the service relevant to a specific region only – these updates are right around the corner, rolling out soon.”

Via Sony Mobile Talk.

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  • hao123

    what about me huh?

  • kezren89

    What about you ?

  • Orange Lerio

    C’mon … How do i check mine out if it’s got this Baidu thing? And how do i get it out or off? #usingmyXperiatowritethisrightnow

  • Danié

    My Xperia V never had myXperia service because is a newer service which comes with the stock firmwares and it still creating a folder called Baidu on internal storage since Android 4.1 (when unboxed) and now in 4.3.
    Sony, is difficult believe in this explaination.

  • MXNB

    Use OS Monitor from Play Store. Then check the tab “connection” and tap “my Xperia” in the list.

  • reza

    Actually myxperia is included with 4.2 afterwards, so if you’re in 4.3 it should be there

  • xperiaDROID

    Some people are just being paranoid, there’s nothing wrong with Baidu. It’s just a search engine like Google.

  • apolloa

    Aow, well that makes sense then. Nothing to see hear, move along..

  • Danié

    Nope, it isn’t.

  • Replier

    In the article: “…other 3rd party applications may also include Baidu Pu…”

  • Sola Hoi

    I guess you haven’t lived in China before and don’t understand their “law”. If you say something on the net that the communist gov’t doesn’t like, they will track you down and put you in jail.

  • silverwagon

    Let’s see if Sony will remove it for folks in Hong Kong too

  • disappointedinsony

    Sony is not telling the full truth. I did not activate the MyXperia app, yet the Baidu folder has been created, is storing files, and returns after a delete attempt. Can Sony explain how this is happening when I have not (and will not) activate the MyXperia app?

  • disappointedinsony

    And further, I do not trust Google any more than I trust Baidu. The Sony MyXperia app can be “force stopped” but not “disabled” nor “removed” – – WHY NOT??? That would be the ultimate solution for consumers who do not want apps on their phones.

  • somerandomguy

    Funniest/silliest saying I’ve seen in a while. Lived in China for 18 years. Criticize the communist government daily. Never got put in jail. LMFAO

  • Sola Hoi

    Are you serious? Any comment criticizing the communist government will be deleted by the related admin, no one bothers to get into trouble with you. You are speaking freely because you are posting at an English site outside China, understand?

  • Sean

    Just create any file and name it Baidu after you have deleted the folder. That prevents the folder from being created again.

  • Correct! I have disabled & and taken off the app and still i could see the folder…!!

  • mountain

    Maybe you should just try to live in China instead of just staying in Hong Kong all the time. Just because journalist around the world say that people gets lock up does not mean its true. Go on, move your ass across the border and critizise the party, and come back!

  • luqman_98

    Maybe one of the 3rd party app that uses the Baidu push service is installed on your device…

    Make sure that myXperia app is removed or disabled (refer to the related article above).

  • Marco Sobrevilla
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  • sonybest

    Hi xperiablog dear.You put it up?

  • Sola Hoi

    It’s interesting that you think journalists around the world make up the “stories”. I know many people who love China, even when that gov’t blocks facebook, google, youtube… and arrest people who oppose them. Maybe you should try to live in Hong Kong if you can, I bet you won’t want to come back to China! ROFLOL

  • TimmY

    MyXperia is not the only app who uses Baidu SDK.

  • RealityCheck2014

    “I always feel like somebody’s watching meeee…” :D

  • GregLu

    BTW, my Samsung S4 also has a baidu folder … I’ve delete if and it came back anyway.

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  • Guest

    buy nokia 3350 then.

  • Guest

    Too bad i don’t want live in hongkong, china, korea or taiwan.

  • iIt’s amazing sony has great appliance.

    Islam | Muslim
    | Smartphones |
    News Gone

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  • Battal Aljadei

    Sony gives a hint about the new Xperia Plans ?
    Few days ago Sony has REPLACED the Mobile Division Head !

    Back to where it all began..#XperiaZ— Sony Xperia (@sonyxperia) November 2, 2014

  • brocnical

    As someone who lives in Europe, I’d be more concerned about Google than Baidu.

  • Sper

    Many users on many phones reported having Baidu folder, thats because many 3rd party apps use their SDK.

  • deathdealer351

    Get a windows phone, you will get 0 Google support

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  • FACT

    Doesn’t escape the fact that china government has full rights to whatever data that was sent to their Baidu servers.

  • Micro

    IMO 3310 will be much safer for him, plus he can defend himself with it from any man, not only from Chinese

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  • Jame Dean

    Mark my words, no one will buy Sony phones

  • ghianchz

    If US gov spying the world why not sony and china gov?

  • Jumbo

    What kind of name is Baidu anyways? Sometimes I don’t really get companies from China… like Alibaba for example. Baidu does sound like a good name for a virus though… XD

  • James Dean

    Mark my words, no one will listen nor reply to your BS and THEY will continue to buy Sony phones

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  • Interested Panda

    Definitely interested in that too

  • Jame Dean

    I will let you dream…

  • PandaSpeculation

    Hint for the Z4? One of the RUMORS does suggest that the Z4 will be sticking with the same omnibalance design.

    Back to where all it begins… Z was the first waterproof HIGH END smartphone in Sony’s lineup. Can’t count the first big improvement in camera performance since that belongs to the Z1…

    Any thoughts?

  • SK

    A stupid remark when you do not understand Chinese.

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  • Janne Dean

    You Just Did. Whatever you are…

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  • apolloa

    Rather then just coming here and trolling, care to explain exactly why you have that ridiculous opinion? Why will no one buy a Sony phone?

  • sonyuser

    This Baidu folder is nothing new and not limited to Sony – I’ve seen it on my Samsung Galaxy S3

  • Asad Ahmed

    so why you are wasting your time ?
    go to other forum please :D

  • Janne Dean

    I’m a the best troll in the whole universe

  • Janne Dean

    And I’m also a douche

  • Battal Aljadei

    I think it’s a hint about the new Mobile division president plans Mr Hiroki Totoki,
    Back to where it all began means they’ll start from the beginning of Xperia Z !

  • Simos Katsiaris

    it’s normal, baidu creates the folder for the ads even if you don;t use them, common in china and miui

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  • Irony

    sonyuser using a Samsung Galaxy S3 ;P

  • Not Explicit

    That’s only because of 3rd party apps that you have installed on your S3. If you do a factory reset, I doubt it’ll be there.

  • Azam

    Got a myXperia Update today with a build number 0.0.A.0.71

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  • Charlotte Legaspi

    Is info eye app related to Baidu? I just got my Z3C, for almost 2 weeks, I just started seeing Baidu folder appearing on the 2nd week,and this Info Eye app suddenly showed up too.

  • daffydkjones

    Yeah, the trustworthy U.S. government would never use technology to spy on its citizens. Oh wait…

  • Jiang Zemin

    Too young, too simple, sometimes naive.

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