Samsung event sees Greenpeace protestors drop in

Samsung's event was supposed to be about tablets. For a brief moment, all eyes were on a protestor calling out the company for its Galaxy Note 7.

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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
2 min read

A Greenpeace protestor got on stage during the Samsung event on Sunday.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Galaxy Note 7 troubles continue to haunt Samsung.

Samsung has spent the last few months recovering from the recall and scrapping of the Galaxy Note 7, whose batteries had an uncomfortably high tendency to overheat and catch fire. Greenpeace protestors drudged the issue back up on Sunday at a Samsung event in Barcelona with a demand to know what will happen with the 4.3 million Note 7 batteries that were recalled.

While David Lowes, the chief marketing officer of Samsung's European business, was on stage, a well-dressed protestor walked on holding a sign with a recycle logo and the words, reuse, recycle and rethink. Written at the center of the logo was Samsung and Galaxy Note 7. Even before the event began, protestors got to the entrance of the Catalonia Congress event space.

Lowes escorted the protestor off the stage. "I think you've made your point," the executive said, eliciting a rumbling in the crowd.

Greenpeace Spain later issued a blog post on its site explaining that it wanted Samsung to provide clarity on how it will deal with the batteries.

"If Samsung is serious and wants to ensure that this does not happen again, it must lead the industry and evolve into a system that allows phones to be easily repaired, reused and recycled," said a translation of the blog post.

Samsung said it was already working on a plan with its partners.

"We have prioritized a safe and environmentally friendly process for disposing of devices," a company spokesman said in an e-mail. "We are committed to working closely with regulatory bodies, as well as carrier partners, to ensure a responsible disposal plan for our devices."

The event was supposed to mark the beginning of a return to normalcy for Samsung. The company addressed the issue at CES in Las Vegas in January, a shortly after opened up about the problems and how it plans to deal with the battery issues. The event capped off a busy day of press conferences leading up to Mobile World Congress.

Samsung spent the evening talking about its 5G plans, while showing off two tablets and a new version of its virtual reality headset with a Google Daydream-like controller.