Apple pulls Qihoo’s 20+ apps from App Store over systematic iOS ecosystem abuses, including encouraging jailbreaking

“At the start of last week, all the 20+ iOS apps made by Chinese software company and search engine Qihoo (QIHU) vanished from Apple’s App Store – and they still haven’t been restored,” Steven Millward reports for Tech In Asia. “According to multiple sources in one Chinese media report, Qihoo is in big trouble with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for systematic abuses of its iOS ecosystem.”

“This is not just about manipulating App Store rankings – which Qihoo was allegedly caught doing last year – but also, it is claimed, for encouraging the jailbreaking of iPhones by the way that Qihoo often makes its apps available as single file downloads that can be loaded by users with jailbroken Apple devices,” Millward reports. “Aside from the suggestion that Qihoo’s apps damaged Apple’s ecosystem, it is thought that Qihoo’s iOS software also made use of banned APIs, and were engaged in repeated attempts to rig App Store rankings.”

Millward reports, “In addition, the QQ Tech source suggests that the removal of Qihoo’s iOS apps was done manually by Apple – not caused by a mere automatically triggered takedown – and therefore amounts to a special investigation into the apps by the Cupertino company. Whereas an automatic takedown can be resolved within a few days, as happened to Qihoo last February, a manual removal by Apple can take longer to sort out, and there’s apparently no timescale for this process. The article claims that Qihoo’s CFO has even dashed to the US to help speed up the restoration of the apps to the App Store.”

Read more in the full article here.

30 Comments

  1. If they really did artificially pump up their rankings with ratings scams, I hope they do not *ever* get back onto the App store in any way, shape or form. That should be enough to see that they never get to sell their apps there.

  2. Hmmm, Chinese company trying to cheat its way into money. Sounds so much like the company that sold Apple the iPad trademark then lied about doing it and sued for 100x more money.

    Sounds like its a way of life over there. Sadly.

    1. “Hmmm, Chinese company trying to cheat its way into money…. Sounds like its a way of life over there. Sadly.”

      Umm, yeah, a number of US companies have done that too. Except they cheated their way into billions instead of the table scraps.

      Cheating into money happens everywhere. It’s not “a way of life over there”, it’s a way of life everywhere.

      1. Yes, but some of us have accepted the premise that we shouldn’t lie, cheat and steal. There’s a word for that “LOSERS”.
        When you’re the only guy playing with one hand tied behind your back to the opposite ankle, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up.

        1. Yes, and obviously some the world’s biggest liars, cheaters and thieves, or “losers” as you call them, are right in our own backyards, not limited to the other side of the world like eldernorm implies.

          1. I was apparently a bit too clever in my wording. I was trying to say that we who choose not to lie, cheat or steal are destined to be losers to those who will, since we have handicapped ourselves with constraints that exist only in our minds. The question is “at what point does our superior morality feed our children?”

            1. True. Those who follow rules, codes of conduct, honour, whatever… will always be at a disadvantage when they are not enforced equally on all. But the lines must be drawn somewhere, personally or by society, else it’s a downward spiral and race to the bottom, where one side literally starts eliminating their competition.

            2. Agreed. I’m a rule follower and try to play fair. Tried to teach my kids the same. It’s just way too hard to keep lies straight. Maybe because lies are inherently crooked.

    1. Imagine a device that works simply as intended and expected?
      Imagine creating your own device to put in your own software without relying on other peoples devices or software?
      Imagine there is no Country?
      The nerve of some people!!!

  3. Just another day in China! Breaking rules and keeping quiet is a part of life. Come to think of it this has proven extremely profitable for these companies especially since our legal system is slower than maple syrup.

  4. Nearly all who ‘jailbreak’ are eventually going to download some apps without paying. They are thieves and deserve to have their iPhone bricked forever. Developers work long and hard to create innovative apps and deserve to be paid for their efforts. Somehow, there are a bunch of people who buy iPhones and think that they can illegally get out of contracts and deserve to get a free ride off everyone.

    1. No, most people who jailbreak simply want to tether or FaceTime without having to give up their unlimited AT&T data plans, to be able to email voicemail messages, or to customize the look of their phones beyond the three things Apple let’s you change.

    2. In other news you are still a sanctimonious prick talking out your ass.

      Explain to me how jailbreaking MY phone = a free ride off of anyone..It doesn’t. It also has nothing to do with my “contract”.

      It means I can load apps Apple doesn’t approve for the app store. It means I can do things with my phone that you cannot. It does not mean, nor imply, that I want to steal software or am looking for a free ride. It means my phone is mine and I will do with it as I please just like my computer. It is after-all just a pocket sized computer capable of making phone calls.

      Why are you so bothered by it, that is the real question? Are you that big of a corporate slave/stooge that you cannot comprehend upsetting the master?

      1. I think that you didn’t read my post. I said most who jailbreak steal. You are one of the few who have never stolen software and are honourable (except for the tendency to name call). I like to get paid for the software I write.

        1. You started the name calling this time, you declared jail breakers to be “thieves”. A broad,sweeping, generalization, but name calling none the less. What research is there to support your spurious claim the “most” who jailbreak steal?

          Perhaps I was a little harsh, but the tone of your comment upset me.Band turnabout is fair play.

          The notion that jail breaking (or as I prefer it: modding, personalizing) is a bad thing is the corporate line and is about control, I wouldn’t accept it for my $1800 computer, and I won’t accept it for my $700 pocket computer/phone. And no android isn’t an option, I hate it, the ui sucks, the app ecosystem sucks, the plastic hardware sucks. And yes, I buy apps, lots of them actually.

          I haven’t been jail broken in a long time, but In the original/3GS days I did, and when it becomes feasible to do so again, I probably will.

          I would very much like a shell, some ui enhancement/skinning as well as tethering without the low monthly extortion carriers want to “enable” this built in capability. Talk about criminal, excuse hat one away, I already had unlimited service.

          1. You signed and broke a carrier contract. What does your word mean? Have you never downloaded an app and not paid for it? If so, I suggest that you are in a very small minority.

            Computer purchases are not linked to carriers and do not have a contract preventing you from changing it. On the other hand, warrantees may be voided if you modify the original equipment. If you don’t like these rules, you are free to not purchase any equipment.

  5. I could not be happier to see these scammers KICKED out of the iTunes Store. I was one of the people who blew the whistle on them. Then others over at the Apple Discussion board joined in the chorus. Good riddance.

    Now if only we could boot ZeoBIT out of the Mac App Store. They’re the single most abusive Mac developer, the perpetrator of drive-by Internet user victimization in efforts to shove their MacKeeper crapware down people’s throats. ZeoBIT’s crimes also include BOGUS positive reviews of the crapware in the HUNDREDS at Mac download sites (VersionTracker, MacUpdate…), all either paid for, coerced or encouraged via get-stuff-for-free deals. Scum deluxe.

    1. Add me to the list of people that want MacKeeper nuked.
      Long over due for someone to investigate and write a story about them. Plus a real review of their software by Macworld or some other large reputable Mac site.

      I have warned so many people about them.

      1. There’s a large gang of us over at MacUpdate who do our best to keep the problems of ZeoBIT in general up on the front burner. But if check it out you’ll find ZeoBIT nonetheless coerces an overwhelming number of newbie one-time 5 star reviews, bogusly jacking up the average rating. I’ve had some tifs with the folks who run MacUpdate because ZeoBIT is one of their advertisers, therefore MacUpdate has zero interest in making the case of review jacking clear to their users, which of course is shameful. I love the website. But as per usual, marketing-moron behavior corrupts and ruins everything it touches. (As opposed to marketing-maven behavior, which I much prefer!) 😀

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