By Richard Wigley King & Wood Mallesons’ IP Group

Cwigley_richardhinese consumers who have purchased and have used mobile phones/devices (including smartphones, smart tablets, and smart watches) often find that said phones/devices include pre-installed applications. These applications may be core to the function of the phone/device or, alternatively, be included by the manufacturer/distributor to provide value-added services/functionality to the user. There has been, however, a growing concern amongst Chinese users of such phones/devices in regards to certain of these pre-installed applications whereby users claim that said applications may be carrying out unwanted functions such as monitoring (and, in some cases, stealing) their personal data or simply taking up unnecessary bandwidth. Such users would, firstly, like to be informed of the presence of such applications upon purchase and, if desired, be given the opportunity to actually uninstall these applications. Legal claims involving such pre-installed applications have, in certain cases, been the basis for litigation in the P.R.C.With this as a background it is not surprising that P.R.C. government has responded with proposed regulatory guidelines for such pre-installed applications, as will be discussed as follows.

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