The sweep of a reported 25,000 apps follows intense criticism by state media.

CHINA-ECONOMY
Apple reportedly pulled apps from its Chinese App Store amid scrutiny by state-run media.

Wang Zhao / AFP/Getty Images

Apple reportedly pulled thousands of apps from its Chinese store after state media accusations of being slow to clean up ‘illegal’ content.

The company came under attack by the government-run China Central Television for allowing fake lottery ticket apps on its store, which resulted in people losing huge amounts of money, according to Bloomberg.

Apple removed 4,000 apps tagged with the keyword “gambling” on Aug. 9 alone, CCTV reported over the weekend. It recently pulled around 25,000 apps from its Chinese store to comply with regulations, Reuters reports, citing state media.

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement.

“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.”

There are over 130 million iPhone users and 772 million internet users in China, but Apple faces major restrictions in the country. It must remove apps deemed illegal — like virtual private networks — from its local App Store and operate its Chinese Cloud service from within the country, where it’s now run by state-owned carrier China Telecom.

If you’re traveling to China, or are curious about what kinds of apps and internet services are blocked there, check out our guide to locally developed versions beyond the Great Firewall.

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