Recently, the PRC Court Documents Network published a verdict on illegal software, which, as it turned out, was pre-installed on Gionee phones. According to the court, between December 2018 and October 2019, more than 20 million Gionee phones were deliberately infected with Trojans. The app has been a tool for making a profit through unwanted advertisements and other illegal means.
The court found that Beijing Baice Technology and Shenzhen Zhipu Technology (a subsidiary of Gionee) installed illegal software on the phones of Gionee users – an update to the Story Lock Screen application. Moreover, the software was automatically updated on vulnerable Gionee mobile phones without the user’s knowledge.
As a result, the devices have become a tool for making a profit by displaying unwanted ads. The court found that during the specified period, the accused companies used the infected application a total of 2.88 billion times. Since April 2019, the number of infected devices has exceeded 21.8 million, and in October – 26.5 million.
The company earned 27.85 million yuan as a result of illegal activities, while their estimated costs are estimated at 8.425 million yuan. The court ruled that the defendant, Shenzhen Zhipu Technology, had committed the crime of illegally controlling the computer information system of others. Defendants Xu Li, Zhu Ying, Jia Zhengqiang and Pan Qi were found guilty and sentenced to 3-3.5 years in prison, and each of them was fined by 200 thousand yuan.
The Shenzhen Zhipu Company business area includes computer technology development, advertising business and the use of information networks for gaming products. The registered capital of the company is RMB 10 million, and its legal representative is Xu Li.
A similar practice is common in cheap Chinese phones – for example, in August of this year, a report was published that reported malware in Infinix and Tecno phones that was used to steal users’ money. It is gratifying that the Chinese authorities are paying attention to this sad phenomenon and are trying to suppress it.
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