Media reports claimed that about 25,000 apps were pulled out by Apple Inc from its App Store in China over concerns that those apps could draw the ire of Chinese regulators. According to a news report in Bloomberg, the word “gambling” was tagged in at least 4,000 of these apps. The 25,000 number was available form the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
According to a statement that had been sent to Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal by Apple Inc., the company states that applications that are related to gambling are illegal and are not permitted on the App Store in China. The company further said that it had removed many apps and developers who had been attempting to distribute illegal gambling apps on the App Store. The company pledged that it was vigilant and were putting in an effort to identify those apps and prevent them from being put up on the App Store.
The report on The Wall Street Journal also quoted CCTV as saying on Sunday that the rules on how to allow apps onto the Apple app store have bene framed by the company itself but the company itself did not follow them. This had resulted in the proliferation of bogus lottery apps and gambling apps.
In recent time, Apple Inc. in China has been at the receiving end of an increasingly negative media coverage and many see this move by the US smartphone maker as an effort to mend some of the negative coverage in the press in China. Apple has often also been accused of not taking enough measures and putting gin enough of efforts to fight and prevent illegal online activity. There have been many instance sin the past that Apple has bene forced to change its stance on certain issues and toe the line that is prescribed by the Chinese authorities. One example of that is the removal of apps for VPN services and for The New York Times.
And therefore, not many experts are very surprised by the news that Apple has removed gambling apps in bulk from its app store meant for China. But this move by Apple also reflects the manner in which American companies are forced to bow down to pressure from the Chinese authorities and regulations in order to continue to do business in the country. This fate and debate of US companies having to bend over to remain and do business in China was recently rekindled after the announcement of a controversial plan by Google of re-entering the Chinese market with the help of a censored news and search app. It has bene reported that there have bene protests within the company against this move.
(Adapted form TheVerge.com)