Apple removes thousands of gambling apps from Chinese app store

Removal of as many as 25,000 applications sparks fears that Chinese consumers will boycott American goods


Apple has taken down thousands of gambling apps from its Chinese app store following accusations from the Chinese media that the company is hosting fake and illegal gambling applications, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The state-run media has reportedly claimed Apple's platform supports illegal lottery-ticket apps resulting in losses for users.

In an emailed statement to Bloomberg, Apple appeared to confirm the reports, as it stated: "Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China. We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store.

"We are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store," Apple added.

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It is not clear just how many apps have been taken down, as China Central Television reported that at least 4,000 apps were removed on August 9 alone, while The Wall Street Journal reported that the number was, as a whole, nearer to 25,000.

According to TechCrunch, Apple hosts around 1.5 million applications in China, while Greater China is its third-largest market. Some early reports have linked the move to the escalating trade war between the US and China, speculating that this has heightened scrutiny from government regulators.

"The fear is that growing tensions may eventually spur Chinese consumers to boycott American goods," reported Bloomberg. 

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