Chinese Tech Company Harasses U.S. Security Developer for One-Star Amazon Review

Chinese Tech Company Harasses U.S. Security Developer for One-Star Amazon Review
Jul 12, 2016 By

Some Chinese companies take bad Amazon reviews very seriously: American security developer Matthew Garrett was harassed by the staff of a Chinese company after giving their product a one-star review.

In his Twitter profile, Garrett writes that he is a security developer for CoreOS Linux. In June, he purchased the AuYou Wi-Fi Switch- a device that lets users turn the power from a wall outlet on and off using their phone. It costs $30. The device can be attached to a socket in your home and users can control lights or other home appliances connected to the socket.

Garrett gave the device a one-star review and wrote a professional-sounding 800-word comment. He believed that the device had major security issues.

“The command packets look like they're encrypted, but in reality there's no real cryptography here at all,” said Garrett in his review. Instead, your information is transmitted from your mobile phone to the outlet through Chinese severs. “If anybody knows the MAC address of one of your sockets, they can control it from anywhere in the world. You can't set a password to stop them, and a normal home router configuration won't block this. You need to explicitly firewall off the server (it's in order to protect yourself. Again, this is completely unrealistic to expect for a home user, and if you do this then you'll also entirely lose the ability to control the device from outside your home,” wrote Garrett.

Garrett’s review has gotten a big reaction from the company’s Chinese sales staff. Garrett forwarded one of the emails he received from the company to TechCrunch. The email read, “Just now my boss has blamed me, and he said if I do not remove this bad review, he will quit me. Please help me. Could you please change your bad review into good?”

Garrett tweeted that the company threatened that they would complain to Amazon if he did not delete his comment. He said that he would change his review if the manufacturer fixed the flaw in the device. A week later, AuYou sent another letter asking Garrett to remove the review and threatened to report him to Amazon.


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Keywords: AuYou TechCrunch Matthew Garrett


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Why does it route through a Chinese server? Can't it just connect via Bluetooth or just stay within the Wi-Fi network? Chinese tech always feel so sketchy and flimsy. You can tell it is a piece of junk before taking it out of the box. Even the packaging usually sucks. And how it is the marketers fault that the product sucks? Bosses in China are ridiculous... "my product sucks so it is your fault for marketing it and getting a bad review"... "that sounds logical boss, please let me fix it... don't fire me!"

Jul 13, 2016 09:22 Report Abuse



Rob, you are making a fundamental mistake. Anything a Chinese person says is most likely a lie. The guy was lying.

Jul 13, 2016 13:55 Report Abuse



Again, Chinese characteristics weak threats over and over again.

Jul 12, 2016 22:44 Report Abuse



reviewers in america dont work for the government and business oligarchy like they do in china, duh

Jul 12, 2016 19:58 Report Abuse



reported for telling the truth...

Jul 13, 2016 06:40 Report Abuse



Thank you Matthew Garrett for exposing a pathetic attempt by the Chinese gov't to steal personal info.

Jul 12, 2016 18:40 Report Abuse