Google Announces Google Play's "Best of 2018" Awards

Gerald Bowen
December 7, 2018

The apps in question are CM File Manager and Kika Keyboard. BuzzFeed asserts that the two companies may have made "millions of dollars" as a result of this form of ad-fraud. Google wasn't able to mention the massive phenomenon because the app isn't available for download from the Play store. Google found certain codes within the said apps that were used to execute ad fraud techniques known as click injection or clock flooding. The search giant removed CM File manager and Kika keyboard apps after an internal investigation.

In addition, the company said it had also temporarily removed two other apps, Battery Doctor and CM Locker, because aspects of those applications were "obsolete and would require some time to update".

The news comes a week after Buzzfeed and analytics firm Kochava reported that eight apps from Cheetah Mobile and Kika were engaged in ad fraud.

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"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". The fraud scheme, which Google calls 'install attribution abuse', involves a developer claiming a share of the revenue generated by app downloads despite playing no role in guiding users to install the app. This was done in order to claim a bounty or fee for driving installations. "Kika reserves the right to take legal actions against such false accusations", Kika Tech said in a statement. Cheetah Mobile has also voluntarily withdrawn a small number of others, Battery Doctor included, although it does not confirm that this action has anything to do with BuzzFeed's report.

You can find the whole list of Google India's Best of 2018 here. 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. Give us your thoughts in the comments!

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