Wasn't it Sony that installed some kind of spyware in its VAIO machines or its anti-piracy SW or something along those lines? When will they ever learn? And there will likely never be an explanation for what they were trying to do here.
They are already in a precarious position in the smartphone market with most of their sales coming from Japan (and Sony Ericsson becoming just Sony Mobile back in 2012). What were they going to do if shit really hit the fan and this went to mass media in Japan as the "Chinese spyware phone" given the tension between the two countries, especially given Japanese QE over the last 1.5+ years? Consumer sentiment is pretty irrational. I can easily see a situation where they get labeled as a "traitorous company" and a boycott starts, at least vs their mobile division. Shortsightedness at its finest.
I want to root for this company so badly yet every few years they do boneheaded things like this and make me utterly despise their stupidity.
edit: On further thought I bet this is created by some pre-installed default Baidu app that Sony QA didn't vet properly or didn't give a damn about. Or maybe QA found the folder + the connection to China, but it was quashed by management for "strategic reasons". The latter seems more likely, since the engineers I know at Sony (at least in SCEI) are pretty damn good.
Rootkit, Playstation Network hack, Baidu spyware, ... I want to believe in Sony, and yet, this. :(
Also, I fail to see how a push service is equated to any of those. They aren't even related, PSN Hack occurred because of an unpatched vulnerability (an Ops failure). Rootkit was DRM.
The latest Z3 series are wonderful phones, one of the best in the Android ecosystem. That's what they should be judged on, not due to a poor choice of a push service provider!
Issue with Chinese servers is that whole infrastructure is owned by government so they can track all info going through it without limits.
In US this is much more complicated.
Also since some time spy agencies around world were warning about those user informations sent back to China. They have their reasons but they wont reveal exactly what this is about since this would cause political cooling with China relations. Seems like something serious is going on there with all this data.
Also I know and agree that my data be collected by US/EU, I wasn't asked when sharing my info to China.
MyXperia is their service similar to let you can remotely track or lock your device. My guess is they are using Baidu's push service to send the commands to device.
So I'd say this is a poor choice of service provider from Sony - especially for non-Chinese versions - but _probably_ harmless.
To sketch the magnitude of the problem: potentially, the Chinese governmnet can:
Prevent your device from entering sleep mode
It's the least menacing item on that list, but that doesn't mean it's completely harmless.
The connections to IP addresses have been seen on other phones so it's probably some software people have installed http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2509815
 - https://myxperia.sonymobile.com
No Cyanogenmod ROMs for the Z3 series yet unfortunately so it looks like a return is your only real option.
It was more closed down than Yaroze and PS2 Linux, and eventually kicked out the door.
The PS4 makes use of clang and BSD and where are the contributions back to the communities, besides a few talks at LLVM summit?
Thanks for making me aware of this history.
Apple iPhone phones come with Apple iCloud spyware? Google search spyware? Yahoo search spyware? Bing search spyware?
Microsoft Windows Phone phones come with Microsoft spyware?
It's the same stuff. At least China tells people what they do, instead of leaving people with uncertainty and doubt.
What is wrong with you people who nitpick in this thread. It is an invasion of privacy and is being done without my consent. That is the important issue here.