Xiaomi has been shipping their Android smartphones with the bootloaders unlocked for quite some time now, but that has recently stopped. Starting with the Redmi Note 3, devices began shipping with locked bootloaders, at least in China. However now it has been confirmed that international models are following suit. Xiaomi says that this is necessary in order to comply with Google’s guidelines and of course to better protect user data.
While all new devices will be shipped with locked bootloaders, devices already purchased by consumers will have this done. To “fix” that, Xiaomi is locking those bootloaders through an OTA. This is a risky thing to do and many users are already reporting issues, some even with bricked devices.
If you do still want an unlocked bootloader on your device, Xiaomi is allowing users to unlock them once they’ve requested an unlock code. The problem here is that in order to make that request, you’ll need to be a member of the company’s forums with a certain rank and you’ll also need to provide a reason for why you’d like to unlock the device.