This week was kicked off by news about TECNO smartphones being found to have a pre-installed malicious code and shipped to various countries in Africa. The report obviously came as a surprise mostly because the Chinese brand confirmed that it did happen without its knowledge.
Obviously, any company would view this as potential longterm damage to its PR. You would expect many huge firms to react with robust communications engagement strategies in a bid to reassure customers and regulators across the continent. After all, we have seen similar occurrences with many tech companies around the world.
So, the Transsion-owned company issued a statement on Wednesday that was shared with some media outlets. However, the statement was not posted on the company’s website or social media pages.
TECNO acknowledged that the Triada and xHelper apps were pre-installed by an undisclosed vendor in their supply chain. Further on the statement mentions that this wasn’t actually a new issue as it was first identified back in 2018 and resolved the following year. This was done through a software update that reportedly removed the offending apps.
The company also offered a solution that owners of W2 devices can take to fix the issue. Alternatively, users can get to contact TECNO’s customer service support for assistance.
The main question, of course, happens to be why the company would let this happen again.
What’s clear is that TECNO does not wish to dwell on the issue and hopes that it all just goes away.
TECNO is undoubtedly one of the biggest smartphone-selling brands in Africa. This is mostly owed to their wide array of devices all of which are in the budget-price segment. But it is certain that this latest occurrence will help the “Made in China” perception stick even more for many African consumers.