Chinese OEMs have had a long history with trying to cram ads into every nook and cranny of their software. Xiaomi, in particular, has received heavy criticism from fans about their aggressive ad placement in MIUI apps. Thankfully, Xiaomi will let users opt out of it via a toggle in future versions on MIUI. Now, it looks like Huawei just attempted something similar. A lot of users took to Twitter to complain about ads showing up on their lock screen; seemingly out of the blue. The ads seem to be overwhelmingly for hotel booking service Booking.com. The affected models include the P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, Honor 10, and P20 Pro. The ads are appearing for devices that are using the preinstalled landscape background wallpapers.
#Huawei has turned the random landscape backgrounds on the lock screen into ads. Wtf fuck this pic.twitter.com/6dAUeu17Jf
— Alex (@ValexWhoa) June 13, 2019
Wtf. https://t.co/Fv4RzUmM1D ads on my lock screen. Anyone else with a Huawei getting this? pic.twitter.com/ILI6vs6wVD
— Ed Spencer (@efjspencer) June 13, 2019
@Huawei_Europe Why is there advertisement on my lock screen?! Have I signed up to this in some small print T&C somewhere? pic.twitter.com/w6zS9ysuwk
— RAYZ (@justicefingers) June 12, 2019
Ah hear… @Huawei why am I now being served ads on my lock screen? Stop it! Moreover @bookingcom what idiot in marketing thought this was ok? #ads #DigitalMarketing #Huawei #measure pic.twitter.com/Ta1lslMwsP
— Dave Rooney (@daverooney) June 13, 2019
Unlike Xiaomi, which displays ads only in certain regions, Huawei appears to have taken a more global approach. Some of the affected countries (via Reddit) include the likes of the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, and Germany. The only silver lining here is that it is relatively easy to get rid of the ads. All one needs to do is to stop using Huawei’s wallpapers for their lock screen.
Why Huawei thought this would be a good idea is anyone’s guess. They’ve already received a ton of bad press following the recent US Government directive and moves like these won’t exactly help their cause. Huawei is yet to comment on the matter and judging by how things are going, it is unlikely that they ever will.
There’s no denying the fact that OEMs such as Huawei and Xiaomi subsidise the price of their devices. Both companies have done an excellent job of helping users with limited funds come online. Ads are essential for making the companies their money back, but one has to draw a line somewhere. The modern-day internet is little more than one giant ad and it is a tad infuriating to see ads crammed into a smartphone that you paid for.
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