Apple Removes Thousands Of Apps From China App Store

Apple has reportedly removed illegal lottery apps from its App Store in China after criticism from state media outlets.

Local media suggested that Apple has recently pulled around 25,000 apps from its Chinese store, in an effort to co-operate with Chinese regulators.

And this is not the first time this has happened. Last year Apple removed hundreds of VPN apps from the China App Store, including ExpressVPN, VyprVPN and StarVPN, saying they breached local laws. ExpressVPN responded by accusing Apple of ‘siding with censorship’.

App removal

The latest app purge came after Chinese state broadcaster CCTV criticised Apple’s management on Sunday for allowing gambling apps, which are banned in China.

It was the second time the broadcaster has targeted the firm in the past month over the apps, according to Reuters.

Apple has also been recently criticised by state media over its iMessage service in China, saying the company’s refusal to monitor communications is a hindrance to authorities.

Apple’s App Store is the only major foreign-run app platform in China, and is said to currently offer more than 1.8 million apps to that country.

However the Google Play store is banned in China, as are most Google services.

Apple confirmed it had removed the gambling apps from its store in a statement to Reuters, but did not confirm the number of apps it had purged.

“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 said in a statement.

Chinese censorship

Last year Apple announced plans to build two research and development (R&D) centres in China, in addition to its two existing data centres in China.

Apple also earlier this year reportedly moved cryptographic keys for its iCloud service to China under that country’ new legal requirements.

Apple has also reportedly removed Skype from its Chinese app store.

China is known for its ‘Great Chinese Firewall,’ a phrase coined because of the country’s strict online surveillance regulations that saw the adoption of a controversial cyber security law that gives the government even more control over the internet in that country.

What do you know about Apple? Try our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

US Proposal Would Ban Big Tech Firms From Buying Anything, Ever

Proposal by US Senator Josh Hawley would permanently ban companies over $100bn in market capitalisation…

5 hours ago

AI Security Firm Darktrace Plans London IPO

Darktrace, a pioneer in applying artificial intelligence techniques to cyber-security, makes first major London IPO…

5 hours ago

Phone App Reminds Users To Stay Alert While Walking

Google begins rolling out Android 'digital wellness' feature that reminds users to look up from…

6 hours ago

NHS Covid-19 App Update Blocked Over Privacy Rules

Update to NHS' Covid-19 contact-tracing app blocked by Apple and Google over feature that would…

6 hours ago

Alibaba Makes Changes Following Record Fine

Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group lowers fees and charges for vendors following record $2.8bn fine…

7 hours ago

FBI Arrest Man Over ‘Plot To Blow Up Internet’

Texas man allegedly sought to 'kill off about 70 percent of the internet' to deal…

7 hours ago