Chinese consumer group sues over Samsung, Oppo bloatware

Although manufacturers and carriers have backed away from loading up smartphones with a bunch of useless software in recent years, at least two hardware makers are being taken to task in Chinese courts for doing just that.

Shanghai Daily today reported both Samsung and Oppo face legal action in China in an effort to protect consumers from smartphone “bloatware,” or the practice of loading up devices with software of questionable utility or worth.

The Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission announced the action on Thursday, which has already received approval in separate cases from the The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

Cited as two of the worst offenders were the Samsung SM-N9008S with 44 preinstalled apps, while the Oppo X9007 model tipped the scales with a whopping 71 pieces of bloatware, including “various games and other programs.”

Take that, bloatware

Shanghai’s consumer rights defenders studied 20 different smartphone models prior to taking legal action, noting that many of them were sold with preinstalled apps that could not be removed from the device.

Perhaps more damning, the Commission also claimed some of the handsets “stole” cellular data – accusations Samsung and Oppo will have 15 days to respond to before trial dates are set.

“We hope it will force other companies in the sector to end the unreasonable, but common, practice of preinstalling apps without telling consumers. This is something that is very much necessary for the healthy development of the whole industry,” Commission Secretary General Tao Ailian said yesterday.

The consumer rights group hopes to force Samsung and Oppo to clearly indicate on the packaging which apps have been preinstalled, as well as “instructions on how they can be removed.” Godspeed, good people!