Apple reportedly yanked 25,000 apps from its China App Store

Key Points
  • Apple has removed around 25,000 illegal apps in China, the company confirmed.
  • According to a weekend report from CCTV, the apps that were removed sold fake lottery tickets and offered gambling services.
  • Apple told CNBC that gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China.
Chinese customers are experiencing and choosing Apple's products in an Apple store beside West lake in Hangzhou, which is the biggest Apple store in Asia.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

Apple has pulled "many" illegal apps from its App Store in China, the company confirmed to CNBC.

The news was originally reported in a weekend report by state broadcaster CCTV, which said Apple carried out the large-scale removal of illegal apps that sold fake lottery tickets and offered gambling services. Apple removed about 25,000 apps in total, or 1.4 percent of the total number in the App Store in China, CCTV reported. But an Apple spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny the number of apps the company had removed in China.

"Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China," Apple told CNBC 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."

The Global Times, another Chinese state media, also cited the CCTV report and said that Apple had recently removed more than 2,000 apps related to gambling and more than 500 apps with the keyword "lottery" were pulled.

Recently, Apple has come under fire from Chinese state media that have accused the iPhone-maker of allowing illegal content on its platform.

The attacks have come at a time when trade tensions remain high between the United States and China. Some investors have warned that the trade dispute between the two countries could adversely affect Apple, which draws a sizable revenue from the Chinese market.

Last year, Apple removed many virtual private network services from the Chinese App Store for not meeting Beijing's "new regulations." VPNs are used to bypass China's "Great Firewall" that heavily restricts internet access to foreign sites.

For more on Apple's removal of illegal apps in China, see the full report from The Wall Street Journal.

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