Earlier this week, the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI) released a report (h/t Tech In Asia) that showed nearly 35 percent of the Android apps it surveyed were secretly stealing user data unrelated to the app’s functionality.
The DCCI, a research institute, looked at 1,400 apps downloaded from different app markets and found that 66.9 percent were tracking users’ private data, with 34.5 percent collecting information that had no connection to the app’s usage.
The DCCI’s findings are yet more signs of how fragmented and chaotic China’s Android market is–and how little control Google has over it, despite the Chinese government’s concerns about its supposed dominance. Just last week, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a white paper that said Google has too much control over China’s smartphone industry via Android and has discriminated against domestic companies, in part by making it difficult for Chinese firms to develop their own operating systems.
But as TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas wrote last week, even though Android dominates the OS landscape in China, “not all Chinese Android-powered devices are equal since a large proportion of homegrown mobile makers heavily customise Android and do not carry any of the standard Google services such as its Play store.”
Many observers believe that “Chinadroids,” or no-name devices that have been equipped with modified versions of Android, will take over China’s mobile market in the near future. As TechRice notes, sales of these forked devices may be lucrative, but ChinaDroids are also a valuable gateway to content, starting with in-app purchases and then becoming the “terminal of choice” for e-commerce. Google’s absence has created “fierce and chaotic competition to control content delivery channels in China.”
The DCCI’s recent report shows that all data in user’s phones is up for grabs, from calling records to contacts.
via TechCrunch – CATHERINE SHU
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