BuzzFeed News first reported the alleged ad fraud citing Kochava, an app analytics firm last week and since then Cheetah Mobile, one of the biggest Chinese Android developer company voluntarily removed two apps- Battery Doctor and CM Launcher from Google Play.
The removal comes after a Buzzfeed story detailed allegations of ad fraud against the developers. "We take these allegations very seriously and our Google Play Developer policies prohibit deceptive and malicious behaviour on our platform".
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".
Google has kicked out Cheetah Mobile's CM File Manager and Kika Tech's Kika Keyboard from the Play Store after an internal investigation revealed that those apps were involved in 'deceptive and malicious behavior'. Google found certain codes within the said apps that were used to execute ad fraud techniques known as click injection or clock flooding. Kara Bailey, Global Merchandising Director, Google Play has published a post highlighting the most popular content on the Google Play Store this year. These "bounties", said to be in the range of 50 cents (Rs 35 approx.) to $3 (Rs 215 approx.), in order to promote app installations. This level of control seems more important now than ever so let's dive into what ...
A spokesman for BuzzFeed told The Wall Street Journal today, "As the latest news indicates, Google agrees with our findings, and we stand firmly behind our reporting".
Aside from removing CM File Manager and Kika Keyboard from the Play Store, Google has reportedly delisted them from the AdMob mobile advertising network too.
According to Buzzfeed News, both Cheetah Mobile and Kika Tech rigged the attribution system, so that app bounties would be transferred to them, even if they did not run the ad, or have another contribution with the installation process.
You can find the whole list of Google India's Best of 2018 here.