As part of its efforts to weed out illegal apps from its App Store, Apple has caused the large-scale removal of around 25,000 apps from its platform in China.
Citing state broadcaster CCTV, the Wall Street Journal reported that the number of illegal apps in China consists of 1.4 percent of the total number of apps in the country's App Store. CCTV reported that Apple didn't follow the rules it has laid down regarding its apps on its Apps Store.
This development has resulted in the spread of bogus lottery and gambling apps in the App Store, according to CCTV. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Apple offers more than 1.8 million apps in the country.
Apple Removes Gambling-Related Apps
Apple said among those weeded out from its App Store were apps that were selling fake lottery tickets and those offering gambling services. In a statement by Apple sent to CNBC, the company said gambling apps are illegal and are not allowed on its App Store in China.
According to the company, it has already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps. In addition, it promised to be vigilant against its distribution and stop other developers from making the apps available on the platform. However, Apple refused to divulge the exact number of apps that were removed in China.
In a separate report by another state media, the Global Times, it was revealed that Apple caused the removal of more 2,000 apps related to gambling recently. Also, the company removed more than 500 apps with the keyword "lottery," the Global Times said, citing information from CCTV.
Earlier this month, Apple notified developers that it will not allow gambling apps on its platform, including both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.
"As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store," Apple said in a separate statement.
Chinese State Media Hits Apple
Apple's move came after it received criticisms from the Chinese state media about illegal content on its platform. The attacks from Chinese state media came amid worsening trade situations between United States and China, with many saying that Apple's sales in China could be affected if the rift escalates.
Recently, Apple complied with China's strict regulations about virtual private network services, removing many VPN apps from its Apple Store. VPN helps users in China to bypass the country's firewall that bans internet access to foreign sites.