Chinese phones don’t have a good reputation regarding privacy since ever. Companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Huwaei are always under the radar of users, YouTubers, and the government for such security concerns. But these companies were never found doing anything illegal by the court. Though now, to everyone’s surprise, the Chinese court has found Gionee guilty of including malware in 20 million smartphones.
The Chinese Court’s judgment
As per the reports, the Chinese court has found Gionee guilty of infecting their devices with trojan through an app. The devices were effected between December 2018 and October 2019 and were used as an illegal means to make a profit. Gionee used the trojan to show unwanted ads on their user’s devices and also used it for other illegal ways to make money. The Chinese court ruled the defendant Sgnzhen Zhipu, Zhu Ying, Xu Li, Jia Zhengqiang, and Pan Qi guilty of modifying the computer systems. So, they were imprisoned for 3-3.5 years and fined 200,000 Yuan.
About the malware problem
The trojan on the Gionee devices was passed through the “Story lock screen” app. The court also found a subsidiary of Gionee guilty for updating the app using the pull method. This was all done even without the user’s knowledge. This app was used to show unwanted stuff, which was in turn used by the company to make cash.
According to some reports, the court found that between December 2018 and October 2019, the accomplices Beijing Baice and Shenzhen Zhipu carried out these pull activities over 2.88 billion times. And by the April of 2019, no of monthly activity rose to 21.75 million devices. Out of the total number, most were Gionee devices. The information also included the fact that the total revenue earned by the illegal activities amounted to RMB 27.85 million.
It is very shocking to see that big companies like these are installing malware on their devices. With the increasing use of technology and privacy becoming a thing of the past everyday hearing such news is kind of disturbing. Who knows, your or my device right now has an app that’s collecting data, and we don’t know about it.
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