Huawei Digs A Deeper Hole By Delivering Lock Screen Ads To Phones

Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei might be facing an uncertain financial future in the wake of a recent ban imposed by the US government, but that is no reason to turn people's phones into billboards. Yet that is exactly what it appears Huawei has done—many Huawei device owners report seeing Booking.com ads appear on their lock screens.

It is not just a single model smartphone that is affected. Users have reported seeing the ads on a range of devices, including the P30 Pro, P20 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, and Honor 10, and perhaps others as well. Those affected report seeing a Booking.com ad appear over the top of preinstalled landscape background images on their phones.
The above tweet is from a user in France, though owners of Huawei devices report seeing the ads in various locales around the globe.

So, what's going on? The ads are included in some of the images found in the lock screen wallpaper gallery. One way to avoid them is to disable the Magazine view, which rotates images on the lock screen, and instead use a single image or your own set of wallpapers.

In a statement provided to Digital Trends, Huawei denied being responsible for the ads showing up on devices.

"The ads are not initiated by Huawei. We encourage individuals to check app settings, or follow publicly available directions on how to remove lock screen ads," Huawei said.
Huawei appears to be suggesting that a third-party app is responsible. A user on Reddit said he contacted Huawei's support team in Europe, and at first was told to uninstall the Booking.com app. However, the user claims there is no Booking.com app on his phone. The app does come preinstalled on some phones, but the user is adamant that it doesn't exist on his handset.

"I don't have a Booking.com app and never have had it. The support doesn't seem to have any idea what is causing this, but it surely isn't a Booking.com app. It's just disgusting and I will not leave it here if I see another ad on my lock-screen," the user stated.

Huawei told XDA Developers that it has since removed the lock screen wallpapers with ads from its servers, so users should no longer see them. The company did not clarify if this was an intentionally or accidentally ad campaign.

Even though Huawei has purged the images from its servers, they could have been downloaded to your handset, and therefore still be visible. If you own a Huawei phone and are seeing the ads, double check to see if the Booking.com app is installed, even if you never installed it yourself. Barring that, you can manually delete the offending images, or turn off the Magazine Unlock feature.
Show comments blog comments powered by Disqus