Google is going to ban a major Android developer DO Global, and removing its apps from the Google Play Store after they realized that the company was committing ad fraud and concealing app ownership details from users. It is all the part of an ongoing investigation which Google has started for the mass removal of apps from a major Chinese Android developer following a BuzzFeed News investigation.
“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 said.
Almost half of the developer 100 apps have already been removed from Google’s app marketplace and it is anticipated the rest will disappear in the coming days, according to BuzzFeed. DO global is not the first app developer to get banned from Google. Apart from having its apps removed from the Play Store, DO Global appears to have given the boot from Google’s AdMob network. This means that the company is no longer allowed to market its products via Google massive mobile advertising service.
Previous to the apps removal, DO global has almost 100 apps in the Play Store with over 600 million installs. The removal of apps is considerably the biggest ban which Google has ever carried out against any app developer. However, DO Global was a subsidiary of Baidu until it was spun out last summer, Baidu retains a 34% stake.
Google’s removal of DO global comes after the BuzzFeed report which concluded at least six of the company’s apps included code that made it seem like a user was clicking on advertisements even when they weren’t using the apps. These apps had generic names like Selfie Camera and Total Cleaner and which intentionally obscure the fact they were owned by DO Global, that violates Play Store policy.
Do has not respond to a request for the action of Google action yet, and also has not commented on the revelation that its apps were committing ad fraud. They claim to have more than 250 million apps running monthly for users and aims to reach 800 through its ad platform.