While Huawei is under constant fire in several countries for suspected spying and facing banishment from the meat and potatoes of the Android OS, it generally retains the good will of customers who love the Chinese manufacturer’s phones.
However, if the company makes a habit of pulling stunts like placing advertisements on smartphone owners’ lock screens without permission, it’s likely to burn that bridge too.
Scores of Huawei phone users have taken to Reddit and Twitter to cry foul over the adverts for Booking.com appearing on the lock screens of multiple handsets, including the P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and Honor 10.
The offending ads, which can’t be clicked or interacted with in any way, are part of a rotating lock screen wallpaper gallery users can select through the Magazine view.
Indeed, while many of the images are aesthetically pleasing, none of the users in question signed up to receive the ads, neither are they receiving any perceivable benefit from viewing them, as was often the case with Amazon-sponsored products available on the cheap if users agreed to receive lock screen ads.
Thankfully, amidst the fume, the travel ads are pretty easy to get rid of. Huawei users in the threads say the easiest way to dispatch the commercial interruption is to replace the lock screen wallpaper with something other than the default option; an image they’ve taken themselves for example.
Another way is to manually disable the Magazine view or even manually delete the offending wallpapers from the Magazine gallery. One Redditor, posting under the username jpcafe10 (via Neowin), explains how:
“With the phone locked, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It should pop up a panel to add the current photo to the favorites or delete it. Now swipe left until you find the Booking photos and delete them.”
Huawei has yet to comment on the story and it’s possible this is some kind of mix-up. However, if the company plans to monitise its customers in new ways, without telling them first, the under-fire firm could lose the only friends it has left.