Amid tightening regulation and endless criticism from media in the country, Apple is said to have pulled thousands of apps from its App Store in China.
According to reports in China’s state broadcaster CCTV, Apple has pulled more than 25,000 apps from its App Store in the country because they were found to have violated Chinese regulations.
Further, the report noted that at least 4,000 of the 25,000 software pulled from the App Store were tagged with the word ‘gambling.’
The state media noted that the company pulled the apps from its Chinese store in an effort to cooperate with regulators.
Following reports, Apple confirmed in a statement that it has recently removed gambling apps from its store, but did not confirm the number of apps or a timeline for the removals.
Apple issued a statement saying, “Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China. 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.”
The move comes a day after China’s state broadcaster criticized Apple’s management for allowing gambling apps, which are banned in China.
CCTV reportedly said on Sunday, “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.”
Last weekend’s criticism would be a second time the broadcaster has targeted Apple within two months over the apps.
According to experts, news of the removal of thousands of apps came as a reminder of how American companies are forced to bend to the Chinese government’s rules if they want to do business in the country.
Previously too, Apple has suffered criticism in China, after the U.S. tech giant was forced to remove hundreds of virtual private network (VPN) apps on request from regulators.
VPNs had been helping users bypass China’s Great Firewall and access foreign social media and news, that are largely banned in China.