Apple over the weekend confirmed it has removed a large number of illegal gambling-related apps from the App Store in China.
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement 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.”
Chines state media reports the Cupertino-based firm has pulled approximately 25,000 apps from its Chinese App Store as part of an effort to cooperate with government regulators. Apple hasn’t confirmed any exact numbers for apps removed.
Apple began removing gambling-related apps in the Chinese store earlier this month, informing developers as follows:
In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes 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 says verified accounts held by incorporated business entities are still allowed to submit gambling apps to the App Store.
This isn’t the first time Apple has removed apps from the Chinese app store when the Chinese government has made noise. In July 2017, Apple removed a large number of VPN apps from the Chinese App Store.