(title map viaBuzzFeed)
BuzzFeed News also found that the DO Global app no longer offers advertising through Google's AdMob network, which means the ban extends to the Internet giant's advertising products.
Google is not willing to make specific comments on the latest move, but people familiar with the matter said that the company will completely block DO Global, and more applications will be deleted.
A Google spokesperson said: "We will actively investigate malicious behavior. Once we find violations, we will take action, including removing the ability of developers to make money by using AdMob or publishing apps on Google Play."
Before deleting the app, DO Global had about 100 apps on Google Play with more than 600 million installations. These apps were removed from Google Play and marked one of the most severe bans Google has imposed on app developers. DO Global was a subsidiary of Baidu and was split into an independent company last summer, but Baidu still holds 34% of its shares.
DO Global did not immediately respond to Google’s actions and did not comment on the news of the app’s alleged ad fraud. The company claims that its app has more than 250 million active users per month and reaches 800 million users through its advertising platform.
BuzzFeed News found that at least DO Global's six apps include code that tricks users into clicking on fraudulent ads, even if the user doesn't use the app. In addition, these apps are listed on the Universal Developers panel "Pic Tools Group" and "Photo Artist Studio" on Google Play, and they are not disclosed as being owned by DO Global. Concealing ownership information and engaging in advertising fraud violates Google Play policies.
Google has previously removed these six applications, and this week has released 40 DO Global applications, 20 of which use the name of the Do Global Games developer, 14 applications listed under Applecheer Studio. These apps list different addresses and contact information in the Google App Store, making it difficult for average users to find that they all belong to the same developer.
Google often takes action on specific applications that violate store rules, but is unlikely to block large developers. After BuzzFeed News disclosed that Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech's applications had advertising fraud, Google also blocked the apps, but did not take action on the two companies.
But in the case of DO Global, Google previously confirmed to BuzzFeed News that these violating apps violated several Google Play and advertising product policies. Coupled with the malicious nature of the ad fraud code found in its app, this may be an important reason why Google decided to take action on DO Global.