Gionee is found guilty on charges of infecting more than 20 million phones with malware

Low-cost smartphone maker Gionee has just received the final verdict in the lawsuit that was brought against it, where the company was accused of distributing malware to the phones it sells, something that has affected more than 20 million of units.

It is not news that most low-price-conscious smartphone makers apply ads on the interfaces to make high profits, even if the units sold have low value, as these ads help supplement the revenue to be generated.

However, in the case of Gionee, in addition to the implementation of the advertisements on the smartphone system, it was detected that these extras present on the interface of the device also brought the malware known as the Trojan Horse, making the company profit not only from unsolicited advertisements. appearing randomly on the device, as well as performing other actions without the user’s knowledge or consent.

This action was coordinated by Shenzhen Zhipu Technology Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Gionee, which applied the virus in a software update, using the “Story Lock Screen” application as a “window”. According to the Chinese court, the first reports of the infection began in 2018, the same year the company went bankrupt after the CEO lost his casino fortune.

However, it was not until 2019 that the company achieved sales of US$4.2 million with 21.75 million smartphones, and the company’s expenses were less than US$1.3 million, as it was not launching new products, as was done in the first months of 2020 with the Steel 5 and G6 models, which were announced in January and March respectively.

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In the lawsuit, Xu Li, Zhu Ying, Jia Zhengqiang and Pan Qi were found guilty, answering in court for illegally control of mobile devices, a penalty that includes 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of CNY 200,000 (US$30620), an amount that each one should pay.

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