Chinese smartphones are popular for being cheap and affordable. This is also the reason they have been popular in price-conscious markets like ours. While these brands offer capable hardware for less, there have been questions about how they manage to earn profits. Many of these companies include ads and bloatware in their custom skin to raise cash. However, many generate cash through malpractices. Earlier this year, we reported Tecno stealing money from its customer with out-of-the-box malware. And now, another report claims Gionee of earning money illegally through a Trojan horse.
Gionee and Trojan Horse
The China Judgement Document Network has found Gionee guilty of illegal control of computer information systems. According to the published verdict, the Chinese smartphone company was successful in implanting a Trojan horse in more than 20 million Gionee smartphones. The app was used to generate illegal business and illicit fortunes.
The Shenzhen Zhipu Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Gionee, included the Trojan horse through an update of the Story Lock Screen app. The company is responsible for software development and advertising business.
As per the report by cnBeta, the Shenzen Zhipu Technology company claimed 70% of the revenue. The rest went to the Beijing Baice Company. The revenue and expenses of the company are estimated to be 27.85 million Yuan and 8.425 million Yuan, respectively.
Chinese court finds Gionee guilty of planting malware on more than 20 million units
RO, 05 DECEMBER 2020
The Chinese court has published a verdict on a case involving the Chinese smartphone maker Gionee. It seems that Gionee planted a Trojan Horse on more than 20 million devices to money from unsolicited ads and other malicious activities without the user’s knowledge.
The Shenzhen Zhipu Technology Co. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Gionee, has implanted a Trojan Horse through a software update using the so-called “Story Lock Screen” app. The first devices infected with the “Dark Horse Program” were in December 2018. The job was carried out until October 2019 and for that period, the company is said to have earned around $4.2 million, affecting 21.75 million smartphones. The expenses for that period are just a little below $1.3 million.
Xu Li, Zhu Ying, Jia Zhengqiang and Pan Qi were found guilty in the process of illegally controlling mobile devices and are sentenced from 3 to 3.5 years in prison along with a CNY 200,000 (~$30,000) fine each.
Although shocking, this seems to be a common practice with cheap Chinese smartphones and other companies were also found guilty of the same malicious activity, Infinix and Tecno are one of them.