Apple pulls 25,000 apps from China App Store after coming under fire from state-run media

“Apple Inc. pulled illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under fire from state media for not doing enough to filter out banned material,” Yoko Kubota reports for The Wall Street Journal. “‘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.'”

“The removals were reported earlier by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday, which said 25,000 apps were pulled,” Kubota reports. “Apple didn’t confirm that number. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Removing 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4% of that total.”

“The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has recently been criticized by Chinese state media for having illegal apps in its store, as well as for not doing enough to filter banned content on its iMessage service,” Kubota reports. “Apple said it removed nearly 700 virtual private networks, or VPN, apps from its App Store last year in response to new local restrictions.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Chinese tightrope act continues.

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy blast Apple CEO Tim Cook for removing VPN apps from App Store in China – October 20, 2017
Apple issues statement regarding removal of VPN apps from China App Store – July 31, 2017
Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store – July 29, 2017
Apple sets up China data center to meet new cybersecurity rules – July 12, 2017
Analyst: China iPhone sales are pivotal for Apple – June 26, 2017
In bid to improve censorship, China to summon Apple execs to discuss stricter App Store oversight – April 20, 2017
Will Apple CEO Tim Cook stand up to China over App Store censorship? – April 19, 2017
Beijing cyber regulators to summon Apple over live streaming apps – April 19, 2017
Apple goes on charm offensive in China with red iPhones and a visit by CEO Tim Cook – March 24, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook defends globalization, walks tightrope on privacy in rare public speech in China – March 18, 2017
Apple to spend $507 million to set up two more research centers, boost investment in in China – March 17, 2017
Apple removes New York Times apps from App Store in China at behest of Chinese government – January 4, 2017
China dethrones U.S. to become the largest market in the world for iOS App Store revenue – October 20, 2016
Apple to set up second R&D center in China – October 12, 2016
Apple’s first R&D Center in China will develop hardware, employ 500 – September 29, 2016
Apple CEO Cook ‘pretty confident’ of soon resuming movie and book sales in China – May 3, 2016
Apple’s biggest China problem: iPhone’s strong encryption – May 2, 2016
China’s increasing censorship hits Apple, but Apple might punch back – April 22, 2016
China shutters Apple’s online book and movie services – April 22, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook joins Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ board of directors – April 6, 2016


  1. Apple is pathetic. Attacking conservatives and then this. This is not good to say the least.

    Banning conservative voices seems like real election interference to me.

    1. So if somebody wants to put a “Hillary for President 2020” sign on your front lawn, you don’t have the right to refuse? If declining to help Alex Jones with Apple’s corporate resources constitutes election interference, so surely would be censoring free expression on your private property.

      As for China, gambling apps are illegal in Norway, too, and Apple has complied with their local laws, just as it must do in any country where it does business. Why is obeying Chinese law any more egregious than obeying an identical Norwegian law?

        1. is undoubtedly doing the exact same thing. I have no doubt that we have thoroughly analyzed the weaknesses of Chinese fortifications in the South China Sea.

          I don’t like the increase in the militarization of the world. Given human nature, it only brings us one step closer to disaster. But to deny that it is happening would be foolish.

      1. Let’s go through this again. China and Norway both prohibit the sale of gambling apps. Apple complies with the local laws in both jurisdictions, just as it complies with the child pornography laws in the US. How does any of that indicate leftist bias?

    2. Agree 100%, Jay and numbers growing many of us are seeing it exactly for what it is. Crystal clear Apple can legally practice censorship in the USA as long as LEFT are not being censored and the U.S. government does not censor like China.

      The president and others are speaking out forcefully for what is right and against conservative censorship.

      “Apple Inc. pulled illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under fire from state media for not doing enough to filter out banned material”

      Poetic justice. Apple pulling banned and censored apps under China government pressure is complicit, how rich, Apple now on the receiving end of censorship …

      1. Poor, persecuted political right! You like to talk a big game of strength and power. But, when it comes down to it, you are just a bunch of sissy whiners!

        I guess that you only like “conservative” businesses like Chik-fil-A?

    3. Your mindset on this matter is clear, Jay Rice. Your argument, however, is flawed. You are attempting to reason in a strictly binary fashion, and the situation is too complex for that degree of simplicity.

      I am not saying that you cannot question Apple’s actions and motives. Everyone is subject to scrutiny. But you are not opening up a debate – you are attempting to close it down (in your favor). As Trump is fond of saying, “many people” disagree with you.

    1. “Apple following the laws established by a sovereign country that they are doing business in.”

      You mean a communist totalitarian nation that censors the Internet, Apple and anyone else doing business there and passes laws to tell citizen mothers how many children they have legally and chokes on air pollution.

      1. a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.

      Since when is a repressive totalitarian communist nation a noble monarch? Only in the left wing orbit out in space …

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