Apple has blocked around 25,000 gambling apps from China’s App Store following criticism in the Chinese media.
In particular, state broadcaster CCTV has called out the US-based firm for its failure to remove gambling apps that disguise themselves using the branding of the country’s official lottery.
A statement from Apple read: “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, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.”
Despite many illegal apps being removed from the store, any iPhone users who have already downloaded them will still be able to use them. According to data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), over 1.8 million apps are available in the market via Apple’s App Store.
Apple’s acquiescence follows “growing trade friction” in China, according to the Wall Street Journal. The business paper noted that Apple manufactures many of its devices in China and derives around 20% of its revenue from the market, so it would suffer significantly if their trade relationship soured.