Following heavy criticism from the Chinese state media including CCTV, which reported last month that a large number of Apps Store apps had exposed users to “fake lotteries and gambling”, Apple has removed all illegal lottery apps from its platform in China, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The Chinese state broadcaster has today confirmed that Apple has recently pulled around 25,000 apps from its Chinese store in an effort to cooperate with regulators.
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store,” it added.
It’s not the first time Apple has come under scrutiny over its operations in China. Earlier this year, the iPhone maker moved cryptographic keys for its iCloud service to China under new legal requirements, raising human rights fears as the country is introducing increasingly strict digital surveillance measures.
Back in 2017, Apple had to remove hundreds of virtual private network (VPN) apps from the Chinese App Store on request from regulators. The apps help users bypass China’s Great Firewall and access foreign social media and news, which are largely banned in China.