Another bundle of sketchy apps has been recently banned from Google play store. Because many reports have come claiming a few issues with malware and shady apps from Chinese developers, plus their devices had caught by Malicious Adware. The latest report comes in which Google has banned CooTek after many of its apps were rendered nearly unusable due to invasive ads.
CooTek is based in Shangai which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and had hundreds of Android apps in the Play store, including the popular TouchPal keyboard apps. More than 60 of its app have been removed from the play store. CooTek is now completely banned from Google’s lucrative ad platforms.
CooTek has been accused by a security firm Lookout of deploying the malicious adware BeiTaAd in its apps. After this story was published CooTek issued a press release in which the company explained that its apps have been temporarily disabled from Google platform. CooTek knows that its ability to attract new users and generate revenue from Google Admob may be adversely affected. The actions taken by Google will not be going to affect CooTek’s current users or their ability to apps.
According to the 9to5Google, Lookout has been investigating a number of apps after it caught Malicious Adware in existing apps. Some user even reported their devices had become unusable due to the high volume of ads being pushed even when the app wasn’t running. In response to Lookout report, CooTek said that they will remove the adware from its apps. However, further investigation from BuzzFeed revealed that apps still ran BeiTaAd despite CooTek’s promise. Google finally responded by banning CooTek and over 200 of its apps from the Play Store.
Google might have removed the apps from the play store which means they are no longer available to download and may even be disabled or uninstalled. It does not mean that BeiTaAd has been scrubbed from your device. Furthermore, CooTek published hundreds of apps, many of which can be sideloaded or installed via third-party app stores by unsuspecting users, but there’s a way to check if your system is infected.
You can check this diagnostic tool from Lookout to check for the presence of BeiTaAd on their Android devices. If the test comes back positive, follow Lookout’s instructions for how to begin removing the adware and any CooTek apps. Even if your device had not infected with this, still these recent app bans and investigation raise serious concerns over Google Play’s security protocols.
Also, CooTek reiterated this denial in its press release. App development and monetization is the core of CooTek business, the action by Google will have a significant impact on its revenue outside of China, though its iOS apps remain available in Apple’s App Store as no issues have been reported with those versions.