Adblock Plus has hit back at China’s newly announced move to ban ad blocking, stating that it will pull out of the country if there is any danger consumers could face any “wrath” for using the app.
Last week, China released new Internet Advertising Interim Rules which among other things look to prohibit the use of applications to block, skip or fast forward online ads, providing a quandary for the ABP which says that 159m people in China block ads on mobile.
Ben Williams, head of business development at ABP, spoke out against the ban stating that Chinese people will have a “fundamental right snatched from them come September, when their government will take away their right to block ads”.
“There are many reasons users need this control. Take, for instance, online safety. Most recently, in China itself actually, almost 10m Android smartphones were infected by malware that generates fake ad clicks. Now, I’m not saying that those users would necessarily have been completely safe if they’d been running an ad blocker, but ad blocking and other tools that would fall under the ban help to mitigate or obliterate that risk.”
Williams said “we’ll pull ABP from China to protect users from any wrath”, while also welcoming Germany’s repeated court decisions upholding consumers’ rights to block ads.
China’s incoming regulations also propose wide sweeping legislation like how to clarify what online advertising is, how it will clamp down on misleading ads and how it will hold advertisers to account for the claims they make.