(Play Store screenshots, search engine cached pages)
As a Shanghai-based company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, it has hundreds of Android applications in Play stores, including the popular Touc.HPAl input method.
By the time foreign media published, more than 60 Apps had been taken off the shelves of Google Play Store and were completely banned from using Google's lucrative advertising platform. A spokesman said that as the operation continued, more irregular applications would be cleaned up.
Google spokesman acceptedBuzzFeed News"Our Play developer policy strictly prohibits malicious or deceptive behavior, as well as destructive advertising," he said in an interview. Once the violation is found, our company will take action immediately.
As a developer with a market capitalization of $500 million and close ties with Baidu, an e-commerce giant, CooTek is the second largest Chinese application developer to be punished by Google this year.
In April, BuzzFeed reported that it was carrying out an advertising bombardment that violated Google's policies and that all subsequent applications from Do Global had been removed.
In addition, last year, Google dropped Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech's popular apps after BuzzFeed News reported that some companies were suspected of advertising fraud.
Last month, security company Lookout revealed that 238 Apps included BeiTaAds plug-ins, which led CooTek directly to Google's ban.
WhenMobile phoneIn the case of hibernation, lockout or other situations, unused CooTek can also trigger advertisements that seriously damage the user experience through the plug-in.
Lookout Security Intelligence Engineer Kristina Balaam revealed her findings in a blog post, saying that although advertisements outside App are nothing new, the plug-in can cause users to be bombarded to continue using mobile phones.
Because of the continuity and universality of advertising, even users report that they are unable to answer the phone or interact with other Apps.
In response, CooTek apologized and uploaded a new pure version of App that removed the ad plug-in. The Google App Store accepted this and confirmed its effectiveness and security.
However, evidence from BuzzFeed News and Lookout shows that at least 58 updated Apps still contain old and new code, which can help them achieve the same malicious advertising campaign.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Balaam said that although the BeiTaAds plug-in has disappeared, advertising still exists and 58 applications have added new features.
According to Lookout, CooTek updated its App again sometime in June and deleted the problematic code and functionality, but the damage was irreversible.
However, in several e-mail messages before the ban was issued, CooTek spokeswoman Mina Luo denied that the updated application involved malicious advertising activities and raised objections to Lookout's new analysis:
Luo said in a message that the company reiterated that it had not re-entered the advertising campaign in any updated version. Lookout's findings lack evidence and the logic is unconvincing.
But now, Google has confirmed Lookout's findings. Given that App development and monetization are the core business of CooTek, this may have a significant impact on the company's revenue outside China.
But inAppleOn AppStore, users can still continue to use CooTek's iOS application because the iOS version does not report any problems.
CooTek also opened a new office in Santa Clara, California, in March to renew its commitment to global markets.