Chinese Wi-Fi Router ‘Pregnancy Mode’ Causes Controversy

pregnant computer

“Pregnant Wi-Fi” setting for routers reduces radiation but launches debate between maker and rivals

Several Chinese companies are being caught up in an unlikely war of words surrounding the launch of a Wi-Fi router that look to minimise the risk of radiation on pregnant women.

The dispute follows the release of a new product from Qihoo 360 (pictured below) which came with a “Pregnant Women” broadcast setting that claimed to reduce radiation emitted by the router by 70 percent.

However its rival Xiaomi, which has also launched a new Mi router, has called out the claims, saying that Qihoo is just scaremongering.


qihoo 360 p1“The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. Wi-Fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it,” Xiaomi wrote in a post on Chinese social media site Weibo.

“We firmly oppose, and feel ashamed of, those who create rumours and arouse instability for business purposes.”

At the launch of the P1 router, Zhou Hongyi, Qihoo’s chief executive, said that the firm was “targeting people who are afraid of radiation”, reported the South China Morning Post.

Following Xiaomi’s response, Hongyi released a further statement, noting that “We will wait and see who has a more profound understanding of Wi-Fi routers, me or our competitors.”

“We aren’t scientists. We haven’t done many experiments to prove how much damage the radiation from Wi-Fi can cause. We leave the right of choice to our customers.”

Despite many initial reports claiming that Wi-Fi signals do have detrimental effects on human health, according to research by the World Health Organisation, there is no empirical evidence to suggest health implications.

Xiaomi may also want to tread carefully with claims of denigrating one part of the population, following its widely-mocked launch of a ‘women-only’ smartphone back in March.

The Mi Note for Ladies, a ‘special edition’ version of its Mi Note flagship smartphone, comes in a specially-designed pink body, and is described as the “best buy for your girlfriend”.

What do you know about IT in China? Try our quiz!