(Yicai Global) July 21 -- Two input method editor apps from Sogou and iFlytek have popped up in Android app stores again. They had been absent for more than a month after Chinese regulators ordered them removed because of illegal user data collection.
Sogou Keyboard and iFly Input Keyboard have reappeared on Android app stores, equipped with a new ‘offline mode’ that developers said does not allow user data collection. They are not yet available on Apple’s app store.
IMEs from Sogou, iFlytek and Tencent Holdings were pulled from Chinese app stores on June 11 because the developers missed the deadline for the corrections mandated by the Cyberspace Administration of China on May 1.
Tencent's QQ Input Keyboard is still unavailable on major Chinese app stores.
China's third-party smartphone IME users will reach 778 million this year, with apps from Sogou, iFlytek and Baidu making up nearly 96 percent of the total, analytics firm BigData-Research forecast before the virtual keyboards were removed.
Editor: Futura Costaglione