Apple reportedly removed 25,000 apps from its Chinese app store at the behest of the communist-ran government, which declared the apps “illegal.”
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg on 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.”
While Bloomberg reports Apple removed 4,000 apps with the “gambling” tag, state broadcaster CCTV in China reported that a total of 25,000 apps were removed.
“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 Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Apple didn’t confirm the 25,000 figure, but that would amount to about 1.4 percent of all apps in the store. History’s first trillion-dollar corporation, Apple has more than 1.8 million apps in its Chinese app store, TheWSJ reported.
Apple also removed over 600 virtual private network (VPN) apps in 2017, NTK Network reported in November. Apple defended the decision, saying that app developers needed a license to create a VPN app, which would need the Chinese government’s approval.
“The law is pretty clear that you have to have a license in China to operate a VPN service. And so there actually are still VPN apps on the store. Less than there were, because there were a set of companies that didn’t get a license,” Apple said in a statement.
VPNs allow Apple’s Chinese users to get around China’s “Great Firewall” and access the entire internet. Internet is highly restricted in China as every website needs approval from the government and is constantly monitored by it. (RELATED: Apple Argues Its HQ Is Worth Only $200 To Reduce Tax Burden)
For the third year in a row, Freedom House, an organization that monitors freedom on the internet, rated China as “the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom, followed by Syria and Ethiopia.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Apple for comment and will update this article if and when a response is issued.
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