Antutu is one of the most popular benchmarking applications for Android, giving phone and tablet owners an easy way to compare their performance across devices. However, all three Antutu benchmarks have been removed from the Play Store, possibly as part of the larger crackdown on apps from infamous developer Cheetah Mobile.
The three affected applications include Antutu 3DBench, Antutu Benchmark, and AItutu Benchmark. According to analytics service AppBrain, the latest update for the AI benchmark app was on February 13th, and the regular app was updated on February 7th. It's not clear when exactly the removals took place, though the regular Antutu application was available as recently as February 22nd.
Antutu appears to be owned by Cheetah Mobile.
AnTuTu does seem to have taken notice of the removal, as some of the Play Store download links on its website have been replaced with simple APK links. We'll update this post if we get a response from the company.
Antutu has responded to our inquiry about its apps' removal. Here's the full statement from Antutu's CEO, Zhao Chen. (All emphasis below came from the original email and isn't ours.)
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.
Regarding Fu Sheng being the chairman / manager of Beijing AnTuTu Technology Co., Ltd., this is because of the requirements of the investors. In fact, many Chinese companies have such requirements when investing. When the shares reach a certain percentage, investors will require changes in government registration documents. The company is actually operated by Beijing AnTuTu Technology Co., Ltd. Henan Branch. (https://www.tianyancha.com/company/3222572910), and Fu Sheng does not actually participate in the operation or the management of AnTuTu. Anyway, we have informed the investor Cheetah Mobile asking them to solve these problems caused by them.
We hope that Google can examine AnTuTu's account carefully and finally resolve this misunderstanding as soon as possible.
This may be a benign misunderstanding, but I would still steer clear of these apps. Benchmark apps are useless for the grand majority of people to begin with, and even if you're really adamant about trying one, there are several other alternatives on the Play Store without funky associations with Cheetah.