It seems that in China, not only can you pay people to help farm gold and items for you in a game, but you can also pay them to help boost your app’s rankings. In a recent photo posted by TechInAsia (via iClarified), it allegedly depicts a Chinese worker sitting in front of dozens of iPhones where her job is to simply download apps all day long.
What the worker does is download an app in order to boost its rank on the iTunes App Store, deletes it after, and downloads it again. Given that one worker can work on as many as 100 handsets, all in all this would basically add up to very huge numbers. Accompanying the photo is also a price sheet which shows how much it would cost developers to boost their rankings.
For example if you wanted to get your app into the Top 10 Free Apps list, it would cost you roughly $11,200 and to keep it there, you would have to pay a “maintenance” fee of $65,000 a week, ouch! There will also be monthly fees with negotiations taking place over the QQ messaging service.
Apple has taken steps to prevent manipulation of app store rankings, but manual downloads would be a different story. Of course we can’t be sure if the image is the real deal in the first place, but if it is, boy are these people enterprising!