China’s Ministry of Security investigated and punished 386 apps with privacy concerns in the first quarter of 2020, in a bid to protect Chinese Internet users’ personal privacy. These apps include news, education, online forum, entertainment, and more. 97 of them is facing administrative punishments, 192 are asked to stop illegal acts, 51 were removed or stopped operating.
Misconducts mainly include collecting users’ contacts and other personal data without permission nor nor indicating the purpose of doing so.
China’s leading smartphone cleaner and booster tool Clean Master was placed on the list. The app was developed by Cheetah Mobile, a Chinese mobile Internet company owned by Kingsoft. The company saw its 45 apps removed from Google Play store in February 2020 after the latter found them abusing the platform.
Other apps include note taking app Yinxiang, English vocabulary-building app Bubeidanci, workout app Yoga Everyday, campus study and life app Perfect Campus, Natural Workshop, parent company of the environmentally friendly paper maker Zofee.