Cheetah Mobile has a reputation as a dishonest and damaging Android development company that acquires high-performing apps and sometimes turns them into IAP-infested money mills for data collection. The firm has also been out of Play Store restrictions on several occasions, but it has always managed to resurface on the platform. It seems that Google has had enough of this game and has chosen to ban the developer’s products. Cheetah Mobile was most likely one of the developers impacted by the action, as Google said in a blog post that it removed 600 apps for ad fraud and showing disruptive programs. Except for a few keyboard themes, all of the company’s apps have disappeared from all of the company’s developer sites on the Play Store.

In most cases, only a brief description of the business remains. Cheetah Mobile does everything it can to make the best of a bad situation. Its website, which was previously tied to Play Store listings of its apps, now offers them all as APKs, with a banner that reads: “Official Notice: By clicking ‘Download APK’, you You can download the latest version of the program. If there are any security warnings, please allow permissions.” Installing these apps outside of the Play Store is potentially much riskier than getting them through the platform, as you don’t will not be protected against fraud or viruses.

Although Google’s Play Protect scanner works on downloaded APKs, it does not provide the same level of multi-layered protection as the Play Store or APKs downloaded directly from it. Hopefully Google manages to keep the company out of its distribution channel, it has already tried to enter the Play Store under another name.

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