Random ads in MIUI aren't new, but Xiaomi has this time formally confirmed the serving of ads to its customers. The Chinese company recently received outrage for increasing the frequency of ads throughout its MIUI. The company was even found showing ads in its music app and settings menu. This is beyond the inappropriate ads spotted on the notification panel and the default Web browser earlier this year. Xiaomi's Global Vice President Manu Kumar Jain mentioned that ads are a "serious revenue source" for Xiaomi India.
One of the users who has been disappointed with unwanted ads on a Xiaomi device posted a screenshot on Reddit that shows ads in the settings menu of MIUI. Another user, in a separate Reddit post, highlighted that the number of ads has been increased after updating to MIUI 10 Global Beta 8.9.13. "MIUI music player and other MIUI apps show an ad on almost every start and recommendations [option] is turned off in settings," the user said.
In a statement to The Verge, Xiaomi admitted that it does serve ads to its customers. "Advertising has been and will continue to be an integral part of Xiaomi's Internet services, a key component of the company's business model," the company said in the statement. "At the same time, we will uphold user experience by offering options to turn off the ads and by constantly improving our approach towards advertising, including adjusting where and when ads appear. Our philosophy is that ads should be unobtrusive, and users always have the option of receiving fewer recommendations."
Xiaomi hasn't announced any particular schedule around bringing the option to turn off the ads. Also, it appears that ads in MIUI are so far largely helping the company manage to bring new models with compelling prices. The company, therefore, don't want to ditch the ad model altogether.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi isn't the only vendor that is serving ads through its Android devices. Back in August 2015, Samsung was also found guilty of pushing promotional ads on its smartphones. HTC also in that year tried hosting ads on its BlinkFeed app in certain markets.