Wi-Fi router with ‘pregnancy mode’ fuels controversy

Two rival Chinese firms engage in fierce row over new Wi-Fi router with setting for pregnant women

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A new Wi-Fi router with a setting for pregnant women within its vicinity has stirred controversy among two Chinese tech rivals, according to a report by the South China Morning Post on Monday.

Qihoo 360’s upgraded new device has three settings: wall penetration, balance and pregnant women. According to the firm, the last setting reduces radiation from the router by 70 percent.

However, Qihoo’s arch rival and China’s top phone maker Xiaomi Xiaomi has described the mode as a tactic since the device was released just one day after Xiaomi unveiled its latest router with the capacity for 6 TB of data storage.

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

However, Qihoo’s President and CEO said that the firm was “targeting people who are afraid of radiation.”

“We will wait and see who has a more profound understanding of Wi-Fi routers, me or our competitors,” he said.

The effects of electromagnetic signals such as Wi-Fi radiation on humans are a highly controversial topic of discussion.

Although the low levels of radiation used by mobile phones are said to be “scientifically” harmless, the long terms effects on humans - especially on infants and unborn babies - are still largely unknown.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is not enough evidence to support claims that wireless radiation has an adverse effect on human health.

“The overall weight of evidence shows that exposure to fields at typical environmental levels does not increase the risk of any adverse outcome such as spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases,” the WHO states on its website.

TRTWorld and agencies