Apple Forced To Pull 25,000 Apps In China
Bad news for Chinese gambling addicts- Apple have pulled more than 25,000 apps from their App Store in China. Bloomberg reports that 4,000 of these were tagged as “gambling”, while the other 19,000 fell foul of various other Chinese laws and regulations.
Apple were keen to show this move in a positive light in a statement issued to The Wall Street Journal. “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.” The apps shouldn’t have been on there, so Apple took them down. Simple, right?
Well, not exactly. This move is just the latest in a series of conflicts between the tech giant and the Chinese authorities. The standard state media line is that Apple doesn’t do enough to combat illegal activity carried out through their platforms. Just last year, Apple were forced to take down thousands of VPN apps, used by Chinese citizens to access websites blocked by the state. They also had to remove The New York Times’ app as part of another long-running feud. The NYT have frequently published articles criticizing China’s ruling elite- and naturally, that meant the paper had to go.
CCTV, the ominously-named Chinese equivalent of the BBC, didn’t mince their words this time, either. “Apple itself has set up the rules on how to allow apps onto its store, but it didn’t follow that, resulting in the proliferation of bogus lottery apps and gambling apps.” Ouch. CCTV is also the source of that 25,000 figure, so we’ll leave it up to you to believe this or not.
One thing is for sure, though: if Western companies want to do business in China, they have to play by the government’s rules. The market there is just too big for Apple to pull out of altogether. Like it or not, the state’s media arm can bring down even the biggest of corporations. In this match of the day, it’s China 1, free speech 0.