China's Cheetah Mobile Drops 4% on Google Delisting

The removal of the entire suite of Cheetah Mobile's applications sent its stock price lower. Since 2018, the stock has declined over 80%.

Belinda Zhou
    Feb 20, 2020 3:00 PM  PT
China's Cheetah Mobile Drops 4% on Google Delisting
author: Belinda Zhou   

Shares in Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM) declined 4% Thursday, closing at $3.60 per American depositary share after Google removed its apps from the Play store.

The Beijing-based mobile internet company saw its roughly 45 apps banned by Google, and it can no longer offer ad inventory for sale via the search engine. 

The tech giant said those apps violated its disruptive ads policy and disallowed interstitial policy.

As early as December 2018, Google removed Cheetah Mobile's app named CM File Manager after finding "deceptive and malicious behavior."  Cheetah Mobile removed its two apps of Battery Doctor and CM Locker itself, and said it had kept touch with Google Play to solve any possible issues. 

Google announced Thursday that it delisted nearly 600 apps from the Google Play Store, and banned those apps from the ad monetization platforms of Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager.

Google said those harmful apps impaired or interfered with the usability of device functions and resulted in poor user experiences, according to an announcement.

According to the reports from BuzzFeed News on Thursday, the removal was mainly targeting developers based in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India. Per Bjorke, Google's senior product manager for ad traffic quality, said many of the banned apps were utilities or games for English-speaking users. 

Cheetah Mobile has been struggling with top-line growth. Revenues in the three months through September was $128.7 million, down 32% year-over-year. Cheetah attributed the drop to a decline in utility products and related services, which declined 58% year-over-year to $49.4 million. 

Cheetah Mobile's stock price hit as high as $181.8 per share in January 2018. It has since declined by over 80%. As of Thursday, it was trading at $3.60 per share.