Google drops second Chinese developer from Play Store - Mobile World Live

Google drops second Chinese developer from Play Store

17 JUL 2019

Google cracked down on Chinese app developer CooTek, banning the company from its Play Store for violating a policy prohibiting disruptive adverts, BuzzFeed News reported.

More than 60 of the company’s apps were purged from the Play Store, with Google telling BuzzFeed News more removals would follow: “When violations are found, we take action.”

The move comes after BuzzFeed News found CooTek apps continued to serve disruptive ads after the company promised to remove a problematic plug-in which inundated users with video and audio ads even when devices were locked or asleep.

In June, security company Lookout noted the issue was so severe it rendered devices “nearly unusable”.

“Users have reported being unable to answer calls or interact with other apps, due to the persistent and pervasive nature of the ads displayed,” Lookout security engineer Kristina Balaam wrote in a blog about the problem.

In a press release, CooTek denied wrongdoing, arguing an internal investigation determined “updated apps it submitted to Google Play in June did not engage in any malicious ad activity”.

CooTek is the second major Chinese app developer to be banned from the Play Store this year: in April, Google kicked Do Global out after BuzzFeed found it was committing advertising fraud and hiding app ownership details.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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