Huawei Responds to Netizens, Saying Posters Were Meant to ‘Hint At,’ Not Mislead

A man walks past a Huawei's company logo outside its shop in Bangkok
A man walks past a Huawei's company logo outside its shop in Bangkok, Thailand, January 30, 2019 (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has responded to netizens who said they used deceit in promoting the new P30 smartphone.

Marketing companies usually emphasize a product's strengths and key features in order to capture the public's attention and make sales. Chinese smartphone maker Huawei believes this and launched a campaign to promote their new smartphone's camera capabilities

Huawei's Richard Yu published several posters on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, all of them purportedly demonstrating the upcoming P30 smartphone's "superzoom" features. The posters illustrated what "zoomed-in" photos on the P30 could look like.

Netizens, however, were quick to point out that Huawei was misleading the public because the posters, they found out, featured professional photos captured using DSLR cameras.

GadgetMatch, a tech news outlet reported that one of the posters, which featured a volcano off the coast of Indonesia named Anak Krakatau, was originally taken by a Volcano Discovery photographer named Tom Pfeiffer a decade ago.

GSM Arena, after hearing of GadgetMatch's discovery, also reported that one of the photos was taken by another professional photographer. The photo, which showed a child's hands reaching out to a duck, is actually included in a portfolio that belongs to a renowned photographer named Jake Olson.

Engadget editor Richard Lai said Huawei wouldn't receive such backlash from netizens if they simply didn't use professional photos in a campaign meant to promote their new camera-centric smartphone.

Lai also pointed out how Huawei only added disclaimers to the posters after being called out for using "fake" sample shots. This update to the posters, Lai said, simply shows that the smartphone maker knows what it did.

In their defense, Huawei issued a statement to Android Authority, saying they are "aware" that the use of the said posters has caused a "misunderstanding" among consumers.

Huawei said that those posters were mere "teaser posters" meant to "hint at" or spark interest about the new smartphone's features. These posters, they said, were mere "artistic renditions" showing what the upcoming smartphone might be capable of doing, thus showing the public the possible benefits they can get from it.

Huawei also said they did not use the photos featured in the posters illegally; rather, they have acquired licenses to the original pictures before using them as promotional material.

The Chinese company ended their message by saying they still have a lot of things to announce within the following weeks. Huawei is scheduled to have an event later this month, on March 26, where they can be expected to showcase the capabilities of the P30's periscope camera.

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