Beijing has kicked off a crackdown against handset vendors deliberately distributing Android-powered mobile phones infected with stealth malware.
According to IDG News the clandestine software is specifically coded to illegally raise user fees.
Indeed, the practice is apparently so widespread that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has aptly dubbed such devices "money sucking" phones.
Zhao Wei, CEO of China-based security company Knownsec, explained that the phones typically charge a total of 2 yuan (US$0.30) in text messages or other mobile services - ensuring that most users won’t notice the extra fees.
"I think the software industry lacks a better business model, they can only make these knock-off and money-sucking software in order to survive," he said.
"[Really], this is fast becoming an [actual] industry in itself."