Apple removes 25,000 apps from its App Store in China
BEIJING — Apple Inc. pulled illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under fire from state media for not doing enough to filter out banned material.
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday. “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 removals were reported earlier by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday, which said 25,000 apps were pulled. Apple AAPL, +2.00% didn’t confirm that number. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Removing 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4% of that total.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has recently been criticized by Chinese state media for having illegal apps in its store, as well as for not doing enough to filter banned content on its iMessage service. “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,” CCTV said in its report Sunday.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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