What just happened? Huawei’s devices aren’t exactly the most popular of handsets right now, thanks to its blacklisting by the US government, so this won’t come as welcome news for the company. Users around the world are reporting that ads for hotel reservation site Booking.com have started appearing on the lock screens of some Huawei phones.
First reported by Android Police, the ads appeared for Huawei handset owners using the preinstalled background wallpapers. They’ve been reported in a number of countries, including the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa, Norway and Germany, and on several phone models—the P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and Honor 10.
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
According to Digital Trends, Huawei insists it isn’t behind the ads, and an Honor rep said it isn’t the one pushing out advertisements to lock screens, either. Huawei is blaming a third-party app or service for the issue, though the fact so many users of its phones experienced the ads at the same time, and that they are appearing via Huawei’s Magazine Unlock cycle of background images is quite suspicious. The company reportedly tried to blame the Booking.com app, but many experiencing the ads said they don’t have it installed.
Not using the default lock screen wallpapers will stop the ads. For those who want to keep using the feature, manually removing the images from the Magazine Unlock stops the ads from appearing in the cycle.
Whoever’s to blame for this, it couldn’t come at a worse time for Huawei, which has seen sales of its handsets fall after being placed on the US government’s entity list.
Image credit: Karlis Dambrans via Shutterstock