Google banned 46 of 100 apps created by Chinese developer Do Global, which is partly owned by internet giant Baidu, after BuzzFeed found it was committing advertising fraud and hiding app ownership details.
“We actively investigate malicious behaviour, and when we find violations, we take action, including the removal of a developer’s ability to monetise their app with AdMob or publish on Play,” a Google representative told BuzzFeed.
The news service worked with cybersecurity company Check Point on the investigation. It reported they discovered code in the apps which opened adverts without users’ knowledge.
These apps also hosted their privacy policies on Tumblr, and did not disclose who they were owned by, a violation of Google Play policy.
Do Global responded to the news, telling BuzzFeed it “immediately conducted an internal investigation” after reading a previous article. It expressed regret about the “irregularities in some of our products’ use of AdMob advertisements” and accepted Google’s action.
It added it will “strictly follow relevant regulations and continue conducting a comprehensive review of our products” going forward.
Do Global, in which Baidu has a 34 per cent stake, had racked up 600 million installations of its Play Store apps, BuzzFeed reported.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back