Google began mass removal of apps from a major Chinese Android developer after BuzzFeed News found that it had committed ad fraud and hidden information about users' possessions from users.
As of today, 46 apps from DO Global, part owned by internet giant Baidu, have disappeared from the Play Store. BuzzFeed News also found that DO Global Apps no longer offers ad inventory for purchase through Google's AdMob network, suggesting that the ban has also been extended to the Internet giant's promotional products.
Knowing the measure said the company intended to ban DO Global altogether, and further app-distances would follow.
"We actively investigate malicious behavior, and when we detect violations, we take action, including removing a developer's ability to monetize or publish their app on AdMob," said a Google spokesperson. [1
with over 600 million installations, and their removal from the Play Store is one of the biggest bans Google has ever made against an app developer was a subsidiary of Baidu until it was spun off last summer, with Baidu holding a 34% share.
DO did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google's action and the revelation that his apps have committed ad fraud , not commented on, claims to have more than 250 million monthly active users for its apps and 800 million users through its advertising platform
Google removed these six apps, claiming that its internal systems had also marked most of them for removal. Another 40 DO apps have disappeared from the Play Store this week, including 20 with the developer name Do Global Games and 14 under Applecheer Studio. The apps had different addresses and contact information in the store, making it difficult for the average user to see that they are all owned by the same big developer.
Google often opposes certain apps that violate Play Store policies, but is less likely to ban large developers. After BuzzFeed News announced that apps by Chinese developers Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech committed ad fraud, Google banned these apps, but did not target one of the companies. At the beginning of the year, Kika Tech was allowed to re-submit its previously removed app to the Play Store.
"As you saw, we successfully launched Kika in the Google Play Store in 2019," said Marc Richardson, spokesman for Kika Tech Buzz Feed News this week. "We are pleased to have worked closely with the Google Play team to solve the previous issues and are pleased to be able to offer users a product that is fun, safe and free for everyone.
In the case of DO Global, Google has previously confirmed that BuzzFeed News breached several Play and Ad Product Guidelines, and the malicious nature of the ad fraud code found in its apps was likely to play a part in Google's decision to crack down on DO as a developer.