Apple Removes Over 25K Apps at China's Request

Ceria Alfonso
Agosto 20, 2018

Apple removed 25,000 apps suspected of facilitating gambling and illegal lotteries, state broadcaster CCTV reports, emphasizing there was still work to be done.

The Global Times in China also reported that Apple removed over 2,000 apps related to gambling in one day - on 9 August 2018.

The company came under attack by the government-run China Central Television for allowing fake lottery ticket apps on its store, which resulted in people losing huge amounts of money, Bloomberg reported on Monday. While Apple has devised the rules for content on its App Store, it has regularly remained under fire in China for not doing enough to prevent illegal online activity through its platform. In June previous year, Apple removed more than 22,000 apps from its App Store in China - almost 10 times greater than the normal rate - after the company was blamed for taking a 30 per cent cut of revenue generated by in-app donations sent via Chinese social networking platforms like Tencent Holdings' WeChat.

It is not the first time that the tech giant has been criticised by Chinese state media for having illegal apps in its store.

Apple's App Store is the only major foreign-run app platform in China, where competitors - including Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google Play store - are banned.

The iPhone maker, however, has not confirmed how many apps it has wiped out of its App Store.

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The state media attacks came at a vulnerable time for Apple, which like other USA companies operating in China, is caught in the middle amid growing trade friction between Washington, D.C. and Beijing.

In the past year, Apple has removed Skype, as well as hundreds of virtual private networks, or VPNs which are used to send secure emails, transmit data and access websites that are blocked in China.

Despite concerns, American branded goods including Apple's iPhones continue to be popular in China, with Apple's retail stores and many other US -brand stores attracting customers as usual.

The cull follows criticism from state broadcaster CCTV for not doing enough to filter out banned material.

Apple has pointed to tools on iMessage that can help users filter or block spam. Apple's refusal to break encryption and allow access to intelligence agencies and police is well known in the USA and other western markets.

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