phone, china, huawei

You may have probably heard about the recent protests in China. Foxconn employees took to the streets to protest the company for misleading claims on wage increases and other benefits that never came to pass. Most other protests in China are reportedly happening due to recent COVID lockdowns and restrictions. Amid all this, a report about Huawei deleting protest videos is spreading.

Chinese social media users cited by @MsMelChen are reportedly claiming that their Huawei phones are automatically deleting videos of the protests in China. It’s unclear if these deleted videos were stored locally or in the cloud. But if the reports are accurate, Huawei might be able to do this by leveraging timestamps and geolocation data stored in these videos.

And if true, most of the world should probably be happy that Huawei phones got banned from sale. At one point, the company was a threat to Samsung’s global smartphone business due to aggressive pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and impressive hardware. But in places where Huawei can still sell phones, i.e., China, these advantages may come at a high cost to privacy and basic freedoms.

Without trying to be sly about this whole ordeal that may be affecting millions of people in China, we can’t help but think that these events are a harsh reminder that better hardware doesn’t always translate to the best user experience. After all, what good is a powerful camera if the OEM has the authority and willingness to tap into your media gallery (or cloud storage) and delete your content without notice or a warning?

Sadly, Samsung has a minuscule smartphone market share in China, where the mobile scene is dominated by local brands. Apple, at the very least, seems to be doing well, and it is one of the outsiders that has been able to compete with Chinese OEMs toe-to-toe in recent years. But that success is probably attributed, in large part, to the Apple-Foxconn partnership. In any case, if you happen to own and use a Huawei smartphone, in China or anywhere else, then this might be the right time to consider switching to a different brand. Samsung or otherwise. Samsung has some pretty attractive deals this time of year.

Chinese social media users report Huawei phones automatically deleting* videos of the protests that took place in China, without notifying the owners.

*Not sure if it’s from the cloud or device level

Our sci-fi movies have not even imagined this level of dystopia… pic.twitter.com/BKtJcRnus5

— Melissa Chen (@MsMelChen) November 30, 2022

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