The Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission has announced that it is taking legal action against manufacturers Samsung and Oppo for pre-installing unwanted apps on their smartphones.
The Shanghai Daily reported that following a study of 20 smartphones, the commission found that there were several smartphones with apps already installed, many of which could not be uninstalled. Two of the offending models were a Samsung SM-N9008S that had 44 pre-installed apps, and an Oppo X9007 with 71 apps.
According to the report, the commission said buyers were not informed that the apps existed, which infringed on consumers' right to know.
The commission is seeking as part of the legal action that Samsung and Oppo be legally obligated to make clear on smartphone packaging what apps come pre-installed, and include instructions on how to uninstall them, Shanghai Daily reported.
Tao Ailian, secretary-general of the commission, said the lawsuit is the commission's latest attempt to safeguard consumers' rights after other methods failed. However, Shanghai Daily noted that no further details about what other steps had been taken were given.
"We hope it will force other companies in the sector to end the unreasonable, but common, practice of pre-installing apps without telling consumers. This is something that is very much necessary for the healthy development of the whole industry," he said.
Samsung and Oppo will have 15 days from the date of the cases being accepted before the court announces the trial dates.
Last week, Samsung announced that it will end the practice of silently disabling Windows Update on selected systems "within a few days".
The company was caught preventing Windows Update from automatically running in the background on PCs through a program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe, forcing users to either live without updates or manually install them from Windows Update.