Are shady Chinese apps killing your battery by running in the background? Do they hog up your precious RAM space? Is there no hope for Chinese developers?

Goddammit. It's just been a month of being back in China, and already I'm trying to fight its toxic clutches. The Great Firewall. Xi Jin-Ping's approval to stay on for president until he dies. The Great Firewall. And most importantly, the slew of Chinese apps needed, to live life in China.


First of all, WeChat. It's great, and I'm going to do a whole another post on it, but when it runs in the background, it slows down the phone. And OK, I see a whole lot of legitimate reasons why it can be running in the background. Things like push notifications, right? It's a chat application, after all.

Screenshot_2018-03-14-16-24-47

But why have two services running? And why is there three processes as well? And how can these all use up 124 megabytes of memory? What is going on in the background? Delving in to the first service, we are presented with this:

Screenshot_2018-03-14-16-24-57

All right, so there's a CoreService running in the background, happily chowing on 27 megabytes of memory. We can live with that, but I'm assuming this "service" also takes care of notifications and other things.

Nope. All my hopes and dreams were dashed when I got to the second process:

Screenshot_2018-03-14-16-25-01

So there's apparently another NotifyReceiver$NotifyService "service" running in the background, as well as the main process for the app, and a separate process named SportService running in the background. Main process eating 75 megabytes, and SportService eating 16 megabytes.

I'm not sure how great and mighty this SportService is, but I certainly don't want to be in it's shoes when I come stomping over because it slowed down my phone.

Speaking of, why is there a service related to sports in a chat application in the first place? Maybe it's a secret process designed by the Chinese government to spy on us. At this point, I wouldn't even be surprised.


App number 2! Mobike! The ultimate bike sharing app in China. Or so I've heard.

Even before I get to the background process, let me get to this first. Mobike developers, fuck you guys so hard. When I went to collect my screenshots from my phone, my eyes popped from what absurd practices you guys were pulling off. It was so horrific I'd never seen such a stupid vulnerability ever before. I mean, who would've thought, it would save your private information right there, in the Pictures folder?!

And there it was. A copy of the photo of me holding up my passport. Another shot of my passport. These were all shot by me for verification purposes, in-app.

What the developers were too lazy to do, was to create a function that would wipe these images from the phone after the images uploaded to their servers. What the fuck, Mobike.

And since I'm ragging pretty hard, let's rag on the background usage as well. Because fuck you, Mobike. I don't need background processes and services running when I'm not riding a goddamn bike. And what's this? This?!

Mobike

27 megabytes wasted, in the background. All for this:

Mobike-push

I don't know about you guys, Mobike developers, but that PushService better be good. It should probably even push me around when I'm riding your bikes when the phone is in my pocket. Other than that, fuck that process.


App number three, Xiami. An app that made me question the legality of the whole operation, but apparently China turns a blind eye to the services prepared by their own developers. Let's see how much it's using.

Side note: I was not listening to music when this screenshot was taken. There was no music playing in the notifications, nor did I ever open the app in the last 24 hours.

Xiami

Wow, another 28 megabytes wasted. I think it's a recurring theme now. What are they running?!

At this point, I have to firmly believe these apps all have some sort of "spying" functions written by developers in Chinese governments secretly listening in on us. And that is why (fuck you scumbags) I'm typing this article on my precious, precious MBP, away from the clutches of the evil government with a simple VPN app. Take that, China gov't!

Anyway, the app was running this:

Xiami-details

What Msg do you have in mind? And why is it being distributed in a music application? Are they trying to broadcast China propaganda?


Last app. Taobao. A favorite cheap-and-fake-stuff-that-breaks-in-less-than-two-hours market for everyone around the world.

I don't know why this app is running in the background. Here is what I saw:

Taobao

Hmm, a little bit more. 38 megabytes. Let's delve into the details.

Taobao-details

Cool, so Taobao has it's own method of spreading Chinese things. ChannelService brings you, the best, of the best, of cheap-and-fake-stuff-that-breaks-in-less-than-what-it-took-you-to-read-this-garbled-sentence.


Wrapping up:

I think the main takeaway here is that Chinese apps are untrustworthy. At least until they reveal the source code and disclose exactly what batshit operations are happening in the background.

Also, if you're an app developer, ask yourself if your app really needs to run in the background. More often than not, it doesn't need to. Don't waste people's memory, folks.

And lastly, shoutout to XDA and the various YouTube channels for helping me discover this horrendous situation.