Huawei Bribed People to Write Fake Good Reviews for a Unreleased Phone

Huawei Bribed People to Write Fake Good Reviews for a Unreleased Phone

It turns out Huawei posted to a private Facebook group asking its 60,000 members to post "why they WANT to own the Mate 10 Pro" on the review section at Best Buy's website.

We've reached out to Huawei to see if the company has a statement on what happened here. As such, numerous screenshots from the aforementioned group are circulating which supposedly prove Huawei's immoral offer of a free Mate 10 Pro in exchange for a fake review.

Although Huawei clearly sees this as an effective marketing tactic, meant to drive some positive hype around its latest device, the reviews are likely to be deleted as contrary to Best Buy's reviews policies. "I definitely think the mate 10 pro is going to make the best phone", reads one five-star rave while another says that "If I had the money, this is definitely what I would get, and I appreciate any chance at winning one of my own". The company even replied to some of the "reviews", including one from a person that presumably uses the latest flagship from Apple that stated "This phone is best!" It's just page after page of people praising Huawei and talking about how great the Mate 10 Pro is going to be with titles like "Unbeatable Smart Phone of the YEAR", and "Fantastic specs - it's a beast".

Advertorial reviews come against Best Buy's customer review policy.


The official story from the company is that there was some confusion as there were two ongoing campaigns, one to recruit new beta testers and the other to get feedback from existing beta users of the device. The Mate 10 Pro will now be launched without the carriers, which are so essential to selling phones in the American market. While there are reviews from beta testers with extensive knowledge of the product, they were in no way given monetary benefits for providing their honest opinions of the product.

Since the agreement with AT&T broke down at the 11th-hour, it does not look like Huawei will be able to sell its devices through carriers in the USA anytime soon. This is something we might have expected from OnePlus when it was still brash and immature, not the world's third-largest smartphone maker.

Huawei has a strong marketing presence especially online so it's natural probably to ask their audience for help in promoting a new device. Now, it's even more affordable: several retailers are offering pretty good deals on Huawei's latest flagship.

Editors' Note: Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET with analyst comments.

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