Huawei, the Shenzhen, Guangdong-based smartphone and network equipment maker, has been accused of soliciting fake reviews for its Mate 10 Pro smartphone - before it was even released.
Currently, the handset is only available to pre order, but the company has been accused of, effectively, paying people to create some hype around the device by gaming online reviews.
So far, more than 100 people have posted reviews of the phone on Best Buy, despite the fact that the device hasn't even been released yet and, therefore, they couldn't have got their hands on it. Most of the write-ups are five-star reviews.
People have written things like "great new flagship phone" and "unbeatable smartphone of the year". One person even said it "puts Samsung to shame".
The reviews have been posted to the Best Buy listing page.
Huawei runs a private Facebook where it regularly posts promotions and information about its latest handsets. It has around 60,000 members.
In this particular instance, the company asked users to write reviews describing "why they WANT to own the Mate 10 Pro" and to post them on Best Buy's review page.
One hundred and five of the 108 reviews on the Best Buy page appeared right after Huawei opened its competition.
It is worth pointing out, however, that were a few negative reviews, and some of the usual spam content, posted before the competition was opened.
Huawei also replied to a few of the more positive reviews. One of them said: "This phone is best! I have a iPhone X, but I will switch to Huawei m10."
The tech firm responded by writing: "Thank you for your nice comments on the marvelous Mate 10 Pro".
Although Huawei clearly sees this as an effective marketing tactic, intended to drive some positive hype around its latest device, the reviews are likely to be deleted as contrary to Best Buy's reviews policies.
"We reserve the right not to post your review if it contains any of the following types of content or violates other guidelines," the guidelines state, which add that Best Buy actively removes malicious advertisements, spam content and references to external websites, promotions and products.
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