back to article Chinese crack down on 'money-sucker' Androids

The Chinese government is to crack down on "money sucking" mobiles: Android-based handsets that subsidise themselves by stealing from the customer's account. The crackdown aims to involve network operators, target retailers and ensure that selling handsets featuring pre-installed Trojans is explicitly illegal, according to the …


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  1. Only me!


    maybe T-mobile should investigate this as a way to ensure they get the extra cash from their customers instead of trying to reduce their data allowance.

    Maybe they might have to now they have done a u turn on the data allowance front!

  2. Loyal Commenter


    Don't tell Vodafone, this'll be the next incarnation of their 360 crapware.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      They already have, in a way.

      I rooted my Vodagroan Android handset two days ago and removed ALL of (AND ONLY) the proprietary crap they loaded onto it.

      Surprise surprise, the problems of sneaky data downloads of up to 100mb/day of mobile data suddenly disappear.

      (Got the idea off a buddy having the same problem with his T-mobile issued handset).

      1. Loyal Commenter
        Paris Hilton

        Out of`curiosity...

        ...Which handset, was it a tricky process, and what does rooting the device gain/lose you? Or poiont me to a relevant URL...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Sure, no problem.

          ...SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro (in my case) running Android v1.6. As far I know this hole has been fixed (for now) in later versions of Android.

          The gain is that you get super user access to your phones file system. And I didn't find it tricky and it worked first time :0)

          Have a rummage around @ for 'Universal Androot'. I have detailed instructions but it would be inappropriate to post them here.

          Hope this helps.

          Hope it helps.

  3. Wibble

    Makes Apple's walled app-store garden look good

    Always the biggest problem when adding 'smart' to a phone.

    1. Tigra 07
      Thumb Down

      RE: Wibble

      Wrong, the problem is stupid people with smart phones.

      If something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

      1. Sean Baggaley 1

        @Tigra 07:


        The problem is defining *ignorance* as stupidity. Not everyone is an expert in all things technology. It's probably safe to assume there are plenty of subjects you know precisely f*ck all about too. EVERYONE is ignorant. You. Me. Jeremy Clarkson. Steve Jobs. Stephen Fry. *Everybody.* There is nobody on this planet who knows everything about everything.

        Most of us are hardwired to resist "change", because change means updating—even completely rebuilding—our mental models of the world around us. That takes energy. The less accurate our mental model is, the more energy we have to expend on rebuilding both it, and all the other models that rely on it.

        As we age, our mental models get more and more complex, so making changes to them takes more and more energy. This is why we usually become more conservative and resistant to change as we get older.

        This is inevitable. It's also well-known in the relevant circles. It's an entirely predictable and inevitable problem all designers face when working on new devices.

        There are no stupid customers. Only stupid *designers*.

        1. Tigra 07

          RE: Sean

          "There are no stupid customers. Only stupid *designers*."

          completely the wrong way round.

          This calendar app needs full internet access to sync in it's permissions, fair enough.

          This one needs full internet access, fine gps, ability to send premium rate SMS permissions, that should set alarm bells ringing.

          The stupid thing is that an app like that would get downloaded because not everyone reads the permissions or reviews first.

          That's stupid and ignorant.

          Gut instincts are good and useful but a brain is required aswell.

    2. Tempest
      Jobs Horns

      Apple gets you upfront ...

      by selling a phone that doesn't meet spec, has the unique Grip of Death and cuts off all the time. At least they've fixed up the problem with the iP4CDMA - the antenna redesign is an admission of Lemon 4 GSM deficiencies.

      Chinese knock-offs only defraud you a little bit at a time.

      1. ArmanX

        And don't forget...

        You can root the Chinese phones to fix them. Good luck fixing that antenna problem...

  4. fishman


    This is already a "feature" of Windows Phone 7

    1. pan2008

      will get an update

      I didn't see any data problems in my WP7 but at least I know I will get an update with a fix (unlike android). if it's really a generic problem as I heard it's only on AT&T.

      1. Stephen Bungay

        No.. you won't

        The problem is not the OS, it is a service running on the OS. Any updates to the OS that you receive will not update the installed third party applications or services (although it might break them).

        1. pan2008


          You have no idea what you are talking about. I already receive updates on my installed apps on a daily basis as they are issued. Use a WP7 first then please.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          yup, you will

          It's not possible to run third party services on the OS. Any background services are solely by MS and will therefore be fixed in the upgrade.

          Of course, a simple data sent/received counter would have been nice...

  5. Jeff 11
    Thumb Up

    Good deal for geeks

    Buy cheap Trojan-encumbered handset, then root and reinstall base Froyo/Gingerbread. Win!

  6. Stephen Bungay

    What makes them trojans?

    Lets be clear about exactly what a trojan is and is not, in this context it is not a citizen of Troy (which no longer exists) or a male-contraceptive.

    A trojan is an app that purports to be one thing (usually with a useful or desirable function) to conceal a more nefarious purpose, as such they are installed by the end-user, who wants the publicly promoted purpose of the application. Placing a malicious daemon/service on a phone (or PC) prior to selling the mark the device does not make a trojan make. These applications are malware but they are not trojans.

    1. Britt Johnston
      IT Angle

      Trojan = citizen of Troy?

      Surely you mean a wooden horse made by soldiers of the army fighting the Trojans? The words 'horse' and '^wood' were left out for reasons of brevity. There was only one horse, too, but I guess it went viral. In fact, this case supports H.Dumpty's conjecture, that a word means what one chooses it to mean — neither more nor less.

      Too bad we stopped learning the classic myths, and switched to computer studies - the world must have been a better place in the golden age.

    2. Maty

      Silly me

      And there I was thinking that Troy does still exist, albeit as a heap of ruins on the shores of Asia Minor. Pompeii is probably a delusion as well.

      But surely Trojans are an orbital point in astronomy, or am I thinking of a US basketball team? It's surely not the wooden horse, because that was made by Greeks (well, Achaeans since we are being pedantic) and filled with Greeks.

      However as the Trojans did not say at the time, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Don't these Chinese read Virgil?

  7. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Smuggled into your pocket, so it is too a Trojan.

    This is also going to hurt second-hand phone sales... if they aren't dodgy already. I hope not, I just bought a pre-owned phone. At least it isn't robbing me.

    Can we expect that anti-malware software bought for such a device will clean it and keep it clean - or is that too much to hope for?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy your own handset...

    From a trusted source. Better yet wipe it and install an open source distro. It is more than your wallet, soon your phone will be your whole identity. It is too valuable to put in the hands of your carrier.

  9. corestore

    "a step too far for the bigger brands"

    You think so? The same brands that presented me, straight-faced, with a $7,000 bill for three days light data use in Iceland this spring, as if that was an honest business practice and a fair contract? I wouldn't bet on it.

  10. mrmond

    create extre revenue

    Like certain big operators replacing the default email or messenger/voice apps with their own,that charge and customise the UI with their own branding to obfuscate the free to use apps ?

    Surely not ? *coughs* ORANGE...*coughs* *San Francisco*

  11. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    But isn't entrepreneurship

    something that now is taught in school ? And aren't startups with smart business ideas to be applauded ?...


  12. Patrick 8

    Combine this with the Android Upgrade Scam (TM) and I'll never buy one now

    The freetards are getting their come uppance. I seriously considered a droid phone but all the articles are comming out now. The cheap bastards are getting slammed, higher data useage, more advertisements in front of your face when using apps and worst of all the Android Upgrade Scam (TM).

    Studies are showing that the vast majority of Android phone models are not even upgradeable to a 0.1 version upgrade. Only half of the few HTC models are upgradable and the next best handset manufacturer is only at 10% of Droid handsets upgradeable. Now the carriers and manufacturers are **DELIBERATELY** with holding releasing any upgrades of Android for phone users to **FORCE** the freetards to buy new model phones to get the new OS features even if the phones hardware supports the new features.

    And now finally Samsung is being sued for such practices along with the carrier T-Mobile for case-in-point the Vibrant handset.

    I gave up the iPhone for an old school 2g Nokia which lasts weeks on a single charge but wonder what I'd get if I went smartphone again. I was leaning heavily towards Android but now its a no brainer. Only the smart people will be buying iPhone as their next smartphone. The Freetards will get their droids and get screwed every which way they can be by carriers, handset manufactuers, and Google.

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