May 21, 2024
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Google has reportedly ban another Chinese app developer from the Play store for violating its advertising policies. CooTek, which is listed on the NYSE and is probably best known in the West for its TouchPal keyboard replacement, no longer has access to Google’s ad platforms and has had dozens of apps removed altogether.

The news was reported by BuzzFeed following an investigation from Lookout that showed hundreds of CooTek apps using an invasive adware plugin called BeiTaAd.

CooTek said it would remove BeiTaAd, but BuzzFeed and Lookout subsequently discovered that many of the updated apps which Google accepted into the Play Store contained separate code that enabled the same ads.

CooTek spokesperson Mina Luo told BuzzFeed that “There was not any re-engagement on the ad activity pointed out by Lookout on any of the versions which we updated. The findings claimed by Lookout this time are lack of evidence [sic] and the logic is not convincing.”

Google, however, was convinced. A Google spokesperson said to BuzzFeed that “Our Google Play developer policies strictly prohibit malicious and deceptive behavior, as well as disruptive ads. When violations are found, we take action.”

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