Tao Ailian, secretary-general of the commission, said it filed the public interest lawsuits after investigating complaints from the public about unwanted apps.
In a study of 20 smartphones, the commission found several that were sold with apps already installed, many of which could not be removed. It also claimed that some phones “stole” mobile data.
Two of the offending models were a Samsung SM-N9008S, which had 44 apps installed prior to purchase, and the Oppo X9007 model, which had 71 such programs.
One of the apps installed on the Samsung model included an electronic dictionary and an online shopping program. The Oppo model came complete with various games and other programs, the commission said.
No-one told the buyers about the #the apps, which infringed the consumers’ rights to know.
“We hope it will force other companies in the sector to end the unreasonable, but common, practice of pre-installing apps without telling consumers. This is something that is very much necessary for the healthy development of the whole industry.”
The commission wants to force Samsung and Oppo to be legally obliged to make clear on the packaging of their smartphones what apps have been installed and also to provide instructions on how they can be removed.
Meanwhile a woman in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, has appealed to a higher court after losing a lawsuit against Apple.
Last year the woman told the Futian District People’s Court that pre-installed apps on an iPhone5 she had purchased could not be removed and that they were stealing her personal data.
The court ruled against her and she is now waiting for the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court to rule on her appeal.