29 August 2019
Google has banned a major Chinese developer CooTek from the Play Store and its Ad platform AdMob. Of course, there are certain policies and terms that any developer needs to comply with before deploying their apps via the Play Store. And, it will lead to a complete ban if any maker exploits these rules. This is what happened with CooTek as well, which touts itself to be a fast-growing global mobile internet company.
CooTek apps continued to flood disruptive ads even after it claimed it has stopped doing so. The company which is based in Shanghai had hundred of Android apps in the Play Store, but now more than 60 of its apps have been removed from the Play Store. These bad ad practices lead the company to a complete ban from Google’s lucrative ad platforms. According to a Google spokesperson, more removals will follow in the Play Store as it continues with its policy.
A Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News,
"Our Google Play developer policies strictly prohibit malicious and deceptive behavior, as well as disruptive ads. When violations are found, we take action.
CooTek issued a press release after the ad fraud report against it was published. CooTek says it’s in continuous communication with Google to clarify the potential misunderstandings. CooTek makes an assurance that the ongoing matter will not affect its existing users’ use of the relevant apps. CooTek denies the allegations that 58 of its apps submitted to Google Play in June 2019 engaged in malicious ad activity.
CooTek remains committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry and complying with Google Play developer policies. The Company's priority has always been to protect the interests of its users and enhance the user experience.
The black clouds started hovering over the Chinese company back in June. Its path to ban began last month when a security company revealed that 238 of the company’s apps contained an adware plug-in that triggered disruptive ads even when the phone was locked and asleep. Due to these ads, users were not able to answer calls or even interact with other apps. In response to the report, CooTek apologized and said it removed the plug-in and uploaded new and clean versions of its apps. That time Google verified these apps and accepted them back to its Play Store. But later the efforts of BuzzFeed News and Lookout (security company) revealed that 58 of the updated apps still contain something that can trigger ad frauds.
To remind you, CooTek is the second dominant Chinese app developer to receive a ban by Google this year. In April Do Global, a developer with half a billion installs got a ban from Google for committing ad fraud and violating other Google policies. Also, Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech are other Chinese companies that were reported to engage in ad fraud.