Xiaomi is locking devices that are activated in prohibited regions76
All of the countries listed are problematic in terms of international relations, disputed territories, human rights, or terrorism. That’s the reason that the allied world has prohibited companies from using western technology to export their products to such controversial places.
But even if Xiaomi doesn’t officially export to these regions, third-party resellers often do it anyway. This probably why Xiaomi decided on to taking further measures.
Xiaomi will block your phone if you're in the wrong place
If you're in one of the prohibited territories around the world, and activate a Xiaomi device, in a couple of days your device will get locked by the manufacturer.
It is said that Xiaomi only locks newly activated devices. This means that theoretically, you can activate the device before entering the forbidden zone and still use it there, thus avoiding a Xiaomi lock.
The thing is that Xiaomi’s terms and conditions do not mention anything about locking a device for this reason. It is mentioned which countries and regions are prohibited to export, but this new feature is nowhere to be found.
Other manufacturers could potentially follow Xiaomi’s example and start locking newly activated devices in these regions of the world as well. If so, in a while it will become next to impossible to use an illegally imported device in banned regions.
There is history of manufacturers getting sanctioned for exporting western technology to prohibited countries. One example of such a manufacturer is ZTE. The company was punished by the US government for exporting products that use US technologies in banned countries. In order for ZTE to continue using US technology, it stopped exporting to such forbidden places.