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Reports: Apple Removes 25,000 Illegal Apps From App Store In China

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) has reportedly removed more than 25,000 illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under intense criticism from Chinese state media for failing to ban illegal online content on its platform.

According to various media reports, the iPhone maker removed these illegal apps as they sold fake lottery tickets and offered gambling services. These apps represents just 1.4 percent of the total number in the App Store in China.

China's state broadcaster China Central Television or CCTV reported Sunday that Apple had taken offline 500 apps with the keyword 'lottery' in their names between July 31 and August 13, in addition to more than 4,000 gambling-related apps on August 9 to comply with tightened regulations.

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

Earlier this year, the Chinese government launched a crackdown against illegal online content, including sensitive political news, celebrity gossip and other content deemed to be against socialist values. As China is Apple's second-largest market after the U.S., the tech giant cannot afford to ignore China's strict laws.

There are also fears that Apple could also be adversely impacted due to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Last year, Apple removed hundreds of virtual private networks apps or VPNs at the request of Beijing. A VPN extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks. VPNs are used to bypass China's 'Great Firewall'.

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