As part of its massive crackdown on ad fraud and “disruptive” mobile ads, Google has pulled over 600 Android apps from its Play store and has also banned their respective developers. According to BuzzFeed, publicly traded Chinese company Cheetah Mobile is one of the biggest developers who have been banned from Google Play.
Google caught Cheetah Mobile committing ad fraud back in November, although it allowed the company to continue offering its apps in the Play store. But now, Google has permanently removed Cheetah’s entire suite of nearly 45 apps from the Play store.
Last year, another publicly traded Chinese developer CooTek was also banned from Google Play for bombarding users with disruptive mobile ads even after telling Google it had stopped.
“Per Bjorke, Google’s senior product manager for ad traffic quality, told BuzzFeed News the removed apps, which had been installed more than 4.5 billion times, primarily targeted English-speaking users and were mainly from developers based in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India. He declined to name specific apps or developers but said many of the banned apps were utilities or games.”
Google’s disruptive ads policy clearly forbids developers from displaying ads when their app is not in use, as well as from displaying ads in a way that “results in inadvertent clicks.”