Google is removing apps of Chinese developer DO Global from Play Store for violating policies

Since quite some time, Google has been focused on improving security for the apps listed on the Play Store and making sure that no developer engages in unethical or malicious attempts. In a move highlighting this, Google has banned Chinese developer DO Global.

The development comes after it was reported that Do Global was committing ad fraud and concealing app ownership details from users. The company was found to be producing fake ad clicks to gain revenue, among other fraudulent practices.

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With this ban, the company is removing over 100 mobile apps from the developer which are listed on the Google Play Store. This is a major step given that the developer has over 600 million installs and is partly owned by China-based internet giant Baidu. It was a subsidiary of Baidu until it was spun out in 2018 but Baidu retains a 34 per cent stake in the company.

As per the report, 46 applications from DO Global have already been removed from the Play Store and the company intends to ban DO Global overall with more app removals that would follow soon. The report also mentions that DO Global apps no longer offer ad inventory for purchase via Google’s AdMob network, which suggests that the ban has also been extended to the its ad products.

In a statement, Google Spokesperson said:

“We take our responsibility to protect users and advertisers seriously, and invest in tools and resources to fight fraud and abuse globally. 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.”

Do Global, in a statement to BuzzFeed News, said:

“After reading the reports about our apps, we immediately conducted an internal investigation on this matter. We regret to find irregularities in some of our products’ use of AdMob advertisements. Given this, we fully understand and accept Google’s decision.”

This is not a first instance of such ban. In January last year, Google had removed around 60 games from the Play Store after CheckPoint found a malicious bug in the apps that displayed indecent advertisements. Many of those banned games were aimed at children.