Chinese smartphone manufacturer Gionee has been found guilty by a Chinese court of illegally installing trojan horse programs in their user’s smartphones for generating revenue. The company reportedly pushed this unwanted software without user knowledge or permission into nearly 26 million smartphones.
The Shenzhen Zhipu Technology Co. Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Gionee, has implanted a Trojan Horse through a software update using the so-called “Story Lock Screen” app. The first devices infected with the “Dark Horse Program” were in December 2018.
The job was carried out until October 2019 and for that period, the company is said to have earned around $4.2 million, affecting 21.75 million smartphones. The expenses for that period are just a little below $1.3 million.
Xu Li, Zhu Ying, Jia Zhengqiang and Pan Qi were found guilty in the process of illegally controlling mobile devices and are sentenced from 3 to 3.5 years in prison along with a CNY 200,000 (~$30,000) fine each.
Meizu Smartphone maker Zhuhai Meizu Technology Co also did something similar, but no judgement yet.
Reports have it that this is a common practice with cheap Chinese smartphones, in which Tecno is one of them.