Google has banned CooTek – one of China's largest application developers because of "terrorizing" users with ads embedded in many applications released by the company on Play Store. You will probably know CooTek if you ever used the TouchPal keyboard application.
CooTek is headquartered in Shanghai and even trades shares on the New York Stock Exchange (CTK code). The company released hundreds of apps on Play Store, the most popular of which is TouchPal – a multilingual keyboard application and even installed on many devices by HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Oppo even on the line. New Reno also uses TouchPal. (Previously, I used HTC 10 and this TouchPal keyboard is extremely annoying when it shows banner ads right above, extremely bullshit and uncomfortable when occupying display space )
Up to now, more than 60 CooTek's applications have been removed from Play Store including TouchPal and the company has also been banned from accessing Google's profitable advertising platforms. A Google spokesperson said it would remove many of CooTek's other applications: "Google Play developer policies specifically prohibit deceptive and malicious behaviors and disruptive ads. currently in violation, we will act. "
After the information was released, CooTek posted a comment explaining that its applications are "temporarily disabled" on Google platforms. CooTek admits that "the ability to attract new users and get revenue from Google Admob can be seriously affected. Google's motivations will not impact existing users or the ability to use applications. CooTek's. "
You must spend at least 1 DO Global application on Android phones.
Thus, in less than 3 months, two major Chinese application developers were banned from Google. In April, all applications of Do Global, an app developer, had nearly half a billion downloads and were very close to Baidu, which Google had removed because of fake advertising. money) and violating other Google policies (DO Global is famous for ES File Manager). Last year, Google also removed a series of popular applications of Cheetah Mobile (Clean Master, CM Launcher, Cheetah Keyboard … for It's easy to remember) and Kika Tech (Kika Keyboard) also joined a fake advertising line.
CooTek's punishment by Google stems from a finding by security company Lookout when 238 applications of CooTek (including virtual keyboard themes, additional features for the application) were found to contain an ad library – actually an adware called BeiTaAd (BeiTaPlugin). It automatically activates harassing ads even if no CooTek application is running as well as when the device is off, locks the screen.
Kristina Balaam, a security intelligence engineer working with Lookout, said: "Although ads outside the app are not new, the plug-ins like BeiTaAd will make the device unusable." She added that many users "have reported that they cannot accept calls or open other applications due to the persistent and pervasive nature of the displayed ads."
CooTek apologized and said it has removed these plug-ins and posted cleaner, newer versions of the reported applications. Google has allowed these applications to return to Play Store and confirm they are safer.
However, new evidence from Lookout and BuzzFeed News's findings uncovered 58 of the newly updated applications that still contain the old source code and / or added new code to help CooTek continue to conduct harassing advertising. tangled. Although the BeiTaAd plug-in has been removed, the ad remains.
No more CooTek apps on Play Store.
In June, CooTek once again updated the apps, removed the code and features discovered by Lookout but obviously caused damage to users. In many email messages sent by CooTek before being banned by Google, the representative Mina Luo denied that the updated applications were involved in malicious advertising and criticized Lookout's new analysis. CooTek insisted on denying any related behavior in the announcements. Luo said "Lookout's findings are lacking and unconvincing."
However, Google has now confirmed Lookout's findings and tough moves have been implemented.
Application development and monetization of the application are core components of CooTek's business. The blockade of all applications by Google will greatly affect the profit that CooTek earns outside of China, although iOS-released apps are still available on the App Store, no issues have been reported to these applications. CooTek recently reaffirmed its commitment to the global market by opening a new Santa Clara, California office in March.