Apple has reportedly pulled thousands of illegal apps from its App Store in China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, 20 August 2018.
Under fire from Chinese state media, Apple Inc. said it removed illegal gambling apps from its App Store in China—a move that could help quell the latest challenge for the American tech company in its most important market outside of the U.S.
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement sent to Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. “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.”
“Apple itself has set up the rules on how to allow apps onto its store, but it didn’t follow that, resulting in the proliferation of bogus lottery apps and gambling apps,” The Wall Street Journal quoted CCTV as saying on Sunday.
China is one of Apple’s largest markets, accounting for roughly 20 percent of its revenue last year. CEO Tim Cook has spent much time in recent years courting authorities.
But Apple’s major market presence as the trade battle rages has placed its products front and centre for criticism. Apple has taken several steps to satisfy Chinese regulators, including this summer transferring control of Chinese user data to a state-owned company.
The move was met by criticism from some rights groups and even Chinese users worried about data privacy.
Apple also upset rights groups last year when it restricted its Chinese customers’ access to Virtual Private Networks, which allow users to circumvent China’s Great Firewall and to access blocked websites such as Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times.