Chinese Woman Uses iPhones To Hack Apple iTunes Store App Rankings And Photo Goes Viral [Photo]

It’s no big secret — at least not to folks in the world of technology — that folks around the world are paid to do things that manipulate the iTunes App Store rankings (and Google Play Store rankings) of apps by doing things like mimicking the activity of regular users. Those activities include things like downloading the app, providing great reviews and other normal app movements that tell app stores the app is going viral. By doing so, an app might rank highly in the various stores and pull in lots of money from real users who either buy it or download free apps and help the app-makers make money by clicking on advertisements or purchasing things within the app itself. Well, this dirty little secret has been made glaringly clear now that a curious photo of a Chinese worker sitting in front of a bank of iPhones has been unearthed on Business Insider‎ – a site that also notes the amount of money app developers are willing to pay to have their app rankings rise.

One week enjoyed in the iTunes App Store in the coveted Top 10 spot can run about $65,000 per week, says the Cult of Mac, because folks who know how to manipulate app store rankings know that to land your app in the top 10 spot means the visibility — and therefore earnings potential — shoot up exponentially, with the possibility of being seen and downloaded by millions of app users.

The same image of the Chinese woman working those iPhones was posted with Chinese worker’s images directly pulled from Weibo, but the Yahoo Finance‎ article only intermittently sported the original image that had appeared to have been deleted, but the cache of the original Weibo photo is still live, with all its 8,633 shares and 1,996 reviews and 8,228 likes. Another version showing a larger photo of the woman in front of all the iPhones is still alive.

“App Store is the hard work of the workers brush list,” says the photo’s description, according to Google Translate.

Apparently, the “brush list” or “app brush list” is a way to finagle better rankings out of app stores, and therefore — hopefully — more money. Other websites, including the Daily Mail, have also picked up the viral photo of the worker manipulating the App Store rankings‎.

[Image via Weibo]