China Could Ban Ad Blocking, and You Might Be at Risk.

#AdClear #AdBlocker #Android #China

There’s recently been some frightening news out of China about consumer rights. The Chinese government just published its new Internet Advertising Interim Measures, which seem to be a response to hacking campaigns. The HummingBad virus is particularly alarming because Yingmob, the hackers behind the virus, are actually a subsidiary of MIG Unmobi Technology Inc. Having access to considerable financial resources increases the power of hackers tenfold.

The new rules center around injecting legitimacy into the advertising model and keeping each party honest. If illegal advertising is creeping into the actual market, China should feel justified in putting its foot down for the sake of the world. HummingBad alone has stolen thousands of people’s identities and has the computing power to commit large acts of cyber terror.

Where does this concern ad blockers? Though the wording is vague, Article XVI can be interpreted as a ban on ad blockers, as it prohibits blocking (or otherwise stopping) another business’s legitimate ad. This could also be about malvertising, but the language may be broad in scope to cover both. This could spoil what was a decent set of rules to protect and empower consumers.

Despite all the nefarious activity, internet advertising in China is experiencing a golden age. eMarketer predicts Chinese digital ad spending for 2016 to be 30% higher than last year; they also believe that number should double by 2020. This comes in spite of China’s recent period of economic stagnation.

Article XVI has yet to change, and there’s still a month before these rules go into effect. A lot can change, and an outcry from ad blocking users and companies should be expected. Whatever the end result may be, the combination of a booming industry, bear market, and large-scale malvertising spells trouble for Chinese citizens. The necessity of smartphones in daily life is allowing advertisers and the government (if taking Article XVI at face value) to remove any semblance of choice from the internet user. Banning ad blockers will free up millions of people to be infected with malware.

We will continue to update users on the Interim Measures as we move closer to its September 1st implementation. The safety of Android phones around the globe is at an all-time low for the next month, as hackers will make use of the business resources they have while they still can. If you are an Android user, you might want to download AdClear. It’s free, and it blocks encrypted ads, noted for being a hotbed for malware. We also recently released the AdClear Lite extension for Safari and Samsung Browser.

For inquiries, contact:
Christian Sandlin

About SEVEN Networks

SEVEN Networks software solutions deliver device-centric mobile traffic management and analytics for wireless carriers. Extending control from the network to the mobile client gives operators the power to manage and optimize data traffic before it impacts the network. Device-based analytics offer deeper and timelier insight than solutions that are solely network based. SEVEN’s Open Channel products reduce operator costs, increase efficiency in the use of wireless infrastructure, and enhance end-user experience. They bring immediate capacity relief to overloaded networks, simplify the creation of innovative new service plans, and provide actionable intelligence for mobile carriers.
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