This approach was of course not initiated by the goodwill of Apple. It is CCTV, a Chinese public channel, so close to the government, which launched the motion on July 31. In a paper published on its website, the media denounced Apple’s carelessness regarding gambling.
While the Beijing authorities have decided to tighten controls on the Internet, the smartphone giant has agreed to remove applications deemed illegal in the country. Apple confirmed on Monday that it has removed “illegal” applications of bets and lotteries on its online store in China, following bad criticism from the state media, as Beijing hardens its controls on the Internet .
“The California electronics giant has removed from its Chinese App Store about 25,000 applications which are related to online lotteries or gambling,” said China state television, CCTV last weekend. “Betting applications are illegal and are not allowed on the App Store in China.”
“We have already removed many applications,” confirmed Apple, but without specifying the number of programs removed. Apple also claims to have blocked “developers who are trying to distribute illegal applications” on the online store.
Apple is very popular in China. The state media, CCTV in addition pointed out a particular defect in the Apple system, which allows a user to continue to use an application already downloaded to its smartphone, even after the removal of the said application form the App Store.
China is a crucial market for Apple, which has sold about seven million iPhones in the second quarter of the year, making it the first foreign seller of smartphones in the country, with 6.7% market share behind four Chinese competitors, according to the firm’s IDC. Also note that Apple had already removed VPN applications from its Chinese App Store last year, to bypass the blockage of local internet in China.