Nearly 50 apps from Chinese Android developer DO Global have disappeared from the Google Play store after a Buzzfeed News investigation found evidence of ad fraud and store policy violation. While Google hasn't commented publically yet, a source told Buzzfeed News that the company is working on banning DO Global as a whole while also removing more apps.
These regulatory measures represent one of the largest bans Google has ever undertaken against a developer. Before 46 apps were removed, DO Global boasted around 600 million installs for its roughly 100 apps in the Play store. It remained a subsidiary of internet giant Baidu until last year, and the company retains partial ownership.
Buzzfeed News published a report last week that found at least six DO Global apps contained code to increase ad clicks regardless of whether or not someone was using the app. Several others with bland names like "Pic Tools Group" and "Photo Artist Studio" failed to disclose their ownership by the developer, a violation of Play store policies.
"We actively investigate malicious behavior, and when we find violations, we take action, including the removal of a developer's ability to monetize their app with AdMob or publish on Play," a Google spokesperson told Buzzfeed news.
DO Global posted a statement on its website after the initial investigation apologizing for "irregularities in some of our products' use of AdMob advertisements." The developer went on to say they supported Google's decision and were cooperating with the company's examination.
Along with removing these apps, Google purged an additional 40 from the store this week. In other policy violation cases, Google only targeted the specific apps involved, such as was the case with developers Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech. However, DO Global's blatant and extensive use of ad fraud in its app likely prompted the company to take the more aggressive action of attempting to ban the developer outright.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Everything you need to know about the Galaxy Z Fold 2!
The first Galaxy Fold was one of the most impressive smartphones of recent years, and now, Samsung's following up on it with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Here's everything you need to know about it!
The Pixel 4a is here, and we’ve rounded up everything you need to know
The Pixel 4a is now available, and we've rounded up all the reasons to be excited about this incredible budget handset. Here's everything you need to know about it!
Sony mislead its audience by not revealing which PS5 games are on PS4
Sony marketed several major titles such as Horizon Forbidden West as PS5 games, despite PS4 versions also being in development. We don't know if it's intentional or not, but it's bad for the consumer.
Bring home the title with the best Fantasy Football apps for this season
Are you ready for the NFL season? Better question. Are you ready for the Fantasy Football season? These apps make sure you can dominate not only the draft, but the rest of the season on your way to bringing home the belt.