A Reddit user has accused Samsung of pre-installing ‘Chinese Spyware’ on all of its Android-based devices in a post. These include all Samsung smartphones and tablets. The user, who goes by the name ‘kchaxcer’ on Reddit, pointed out the presence of a shady module within Samsung’s default Device Care functionality. Further, kchaxcer pointed out that the module is not removable. Also Read - Samsung SelfieType technology to be showcased at CES 2020, uses selfie camera to type
While the user repeatedly pointed out that he means no hate towards the brand, he was adamant on his findings. He later discovered on his Galaxy S10+ that the storage scanning module within Device Care, is actually developed by Qihoo 360. Also Read - Samsung announces 'Privacy Choices' app for its Smart TVs
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Why Qihoo 360 could be problematic
According to the Reddit user, Asian countries recognize Qihoo 360 for its “shady” practices. Further, the user mentioned that Qihoo 360 has used a number of dirty tricks over the years to mine data and garner a larger market share. These include 360’s own antivirus detecting other antivirus software as harmful. Further, the program would go ahead and “clean” your PC of these other antivirus programs. Qihoo 360 programs are also accused of installing 360’s own browser bars and misleading advertisements. These include the “YOUR DEVICE HAS 2 VIRUSES, DOWNLOAD OUR APP TO SCAN NOW’ ads” reports the user. Also Read - Best non-Chinese smartphones to buy under Rs 15,000 in December 2019
The user further reports that even the Chinese government recognizes Qihoo 360’s “terrible deeds.” Moreover, several cases have been opened against them as well. He pointed out that ChinaDaily, the government’s mouthpiece, had revealed Qihoo 360’s plans to provide data. In another Taiwanese news report from 2014, a 360 executive even admitted that the company would hand over data to the Chinese government whenever it was asked for.
Further, the user went on to conduct manual tests which revealed that the phone indeed sent packet data to various Chinese domains, including 360’s domain. The user mentioned that there is no way to get rid of the Device Care app. The application cannot be disabled either. Attempts to disable the app through unofficial methods resulted in loss of all Device Care features like battery optimization.
The user ended the thread by pointing out that Samsung users paid premium prices over other brands and they shouldn’t have to deal with ads or Chinese software. He adds that Samsung should either discontinue their partnership with 360, or at least make the Device Care functionality optional. BGR India has reached out to Samsung for a comment on the matter. We will update the article should we get a response.