In context: Google's crackdown against apps violating its Play Store policies recently saw all of Cheetah Mobile's apps pulled from the Android marketplace after the Chinese developer was found guilty of churning out ad-infested apps with excessive data collection and dodgy in-app purchase mechanisms. In an alleged misunderstanding, Google has also booted Antutu's popular benchmarking apps on account of its relationship with the shady development studio.

Though not as impactful as they once were, smartphone benchmarking apps are still fairly popular among users looking to test their devices to the limits (and occasionally brag about them). Antutu has been one such household name, appearing in thousands of YouTube comparison videos and sites over the years, informing users about the performance they are getting for their money.

A recent development, however, saw all of the company's three benchmarking apps (Antutu 3DBench, Antutu Benchmark, and Altutu Benchmark) removed from the Google Play Store, most likely due to its association with Cheetah Mobile, reports Android Police.

The most prominent indicators were Antutu's privacy policy on its (archived) app listing page that pointed users to Cheetah Mobile's website and the fact that the latter's CEO, Fu Sheng, was named the chairman/manager of Beijing Antutu Technology Co., hinting towards Cheetah Mobile's ownership of Antutu.

An excerpt from Antutu CEO Zhao Chen's detailed statement to Android Police is shown below:

We received a notification email from Google on March 7th informing us that AnTuTu was one of the related publisher accounts of Cheetah Mobile, all AnTuTu apps were removed from the Play Store. But in fact, We think there is some misunderstanding about it. Antutu is NOT the related account of Cheetah Mobile!!

AnTuTu was founded in 2011, even before Cheetah Mobile, and is one of the earliest Google Play developers. Cheetah Mobile invested in us in around 2014 and became one of our shareholders since then. However, we still retain a considerable account of shares and Independent operation of the company as well as our own independent Google Play account. Cheetah Mobile has never touched our Google Play account, and AnTuTu has NOT done any promotion of Cheetah Mobile's software.

He also said that Antutu was working on changing its legal supplier from Cheetah Mobile and that Fu Sheng's position with the company was due to investor requirements, noting that he "does not actually participate in the operation or the management of Antutu."