Google removes two Cheetah Mobile, Kika apps after ad fraud allegation

Google Play Store Play Store removes Kika Keyboard CM Launcher pulled down app install attribution Cheetah Mobiles top Play Store apps CM Clean Master third party app installs Kochava ad click fraud Play Store app fraud Kika Tech Play Store app

As many as seven Cheetah Mobiles apps including Clean Master and Battery Doctor were spotted performing the ‘app injection’ fraud

Although the company did not explain the reason for the removal of the app, the action came a week after BuzzFeed News reported that Cheetah had committed advertising fraud by falsely taking credit for downloads involving eight apps in the Google Play store. That was just one of the technique, they had several other methods and did them without obtaining the user consent.

As many as seven Cheetah Mobiles apps, including Clean Master and Battery Doctor, were spotted performing the "app injection" fraud.

CM Manager isn't the only Cheetah app removed from the Play Store either, as Battery Doctor and CM Launcher were apparently removed in the wake of the original story. "The Target APIs employed in those two apps are obsolete and would require some time to update, " the company said in a press release. The developer Cheetah Mobile has defended itself by saying that it has no control over the companies that provide the advertisements included in the app, but it is still hard to believe that it did not know anything, given that it is clear how it could make a considerable profit from the situation. However, Google has found that the Cheetah Mobile is guilty of being deceptive in its operation.

Google is still continuing to investigate the two apps and will take additional action.

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Language-learning app Drops is the best Android app of 2018, according to Google. At the same time, Cheetah also said it had initiated a series of steps aimed at countering the effect of the allegations, including the creation of a Business Integrity Committee to be chaired by its chief financial officer.

"In response, Cheetah Mobile said-" The Company takes the current matter very seriously and is in continuous communication with Google Play to resolve any issues that may arise".

Kika Tech also brushed off the allegations and said it found no evidence of click fraud in its apps.

The Google spokesperson also added that the rest of the suspicious apps are now under the scanner and if they too are found engaged in such schemes, necessary action will be taken.

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