September 7, 2018
As a response to criticism from state media and ever-tightening regulations in China, Apple has removed over 25,000 illegal lottery apps from the App Store. Chinese broadcaster CCTV harshly criticized Apple giant for allowing gambling apps in the local App Store, and it was not the first time the media house targeted the company. CCTV also criticized the company for not monitoring the iMessage activity of its users which caused a massive hindrance to Chinese officials.
Apple revealed in a statement “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 chose not to reveal the names of the apps that have been removed or the timeline of the ban wave. Local media sources believe that around 25,000 apps were taken down. Other app stores that offer gambling apps locally from Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd are also banned. With China increasing its digital surveillance activity on its citizens, it has led users of online services to fear for their privacy and human rights.
It is definitely difficult for companies like Apple to continue operating in China while following a number of guidelines. Last year, the tech giant was forced to remove several VPN apps from the App Store to abide by regulations. The Cupertino tech giant is the only major foreign app platform available in China with Google’s Play Store being banned in the country.
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