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Huawei accused of pushing adverts to phone lockscreens

Science & Technology | Published:

Users have reported seeing adverts for travel firm Booking.com appear on their devices.

(Martyn Landi/PA)

Huawei has been accused of pushing adverts onto the lockscreen of some of its mobile phones after some users complained of suddenly being served the adverts without warning.

A number of Huawei users went on social media to complain of seeing adverts for travel company Booking.com appear as the main image on their device’s homescreen before it was unlocked.

The images appear to have been added to the phone’s Magazine Unlock feature – a Huawei tool which displays a rotating set of images each time the device’s screen is activated and unlocked.

Many users reported seeing a range of images, which included the travel company’s logo and links to offers from the firm.

Booking.com has not commented on the issue, but Huawei’s official German Twitter account did respond to questions about the tool from one user, apologising for the incident and detailing how the feature can be switched off.

“I’m sorry that you think we want to advertise. You can deactivate the magazine at any time. Just wipe it from bottom to top and click on the gearwheel symbol,” the account said.

In a further statement to customers, the Chinese firm said: “Dear users, we thank you for your candid comments, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused to your experience.

“Please kindly be informed that we have taken down those lock-screen images from our servers, as they should not be appearing on lock-screen interfaces.”

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The company confirmed that users could also manually delete the images from their devices that had been downloaded from the firm’s servers by sliding up from the bottom of the screen and then tapping on the delete button that appeared.

Booking.com has an existing partnership with Huawei through its official app, which is one of several pre-loaded onto Huawei devices before they are shipped to customers.

The incident comes as Huawei confirmed it would be delaying the launch of its first foldable phone, the Mate X, in order to carry out further tests on the device and its flexible screen after rivals Samsung were hit by issues with its own foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold.

Huawei has now said it plans to release the Mate X in September, after it was initially expected to be launched during the summer.

The company said it was being more “cautious” about the device following Samsung’s issues, which were uncovered when the device was being reviewed by early testers, with several reporting problems with the folding screen within a few days of testing.

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