Apple Confirms Removing as Many as 25,000 Illegal Gambling-Related Apps From App Store in China

appstorelogocleanApple today confirmed it has removed "many" illegal gambling apps, and developers distributing them, from its App Store in China.

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."

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said 25,000 apps have been removed as of Sunday—which would be less than two percent of the estimated 1.8 million apps on the App Store in the country—but Apple hasn't confirmed any numbers.

Apple began cracking down on gambling-related apps earlier this month, providing affected developers with the following explanation:

In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.

As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store.

Apple notes that verified accounts from incorporated business entities may still submit gambling apps for distribution on the App Store.

MacRumors reported on Apple's crackdown on gambling-related apps in the App Store earlier this month, noting that some apps that have been banned as a result appear to have very little to do with gambling at all. Most of the apps have been removed from the App Store not only in China, but around the world.

Apple's move follows the Chinese state media scrutinizing the company earlier this month for allowing illegal content like gambling apps and spam messages to be distributed freely through the App Store and iMessage. As for the latter, Apple is reportedly working with Chinese carriers to reduce iMessage spam.

This isn't the first time Apple has catered to Chinese government demands. Last July, for example, the company removed VPN apps from the App Store in China. Six months prior, Apple pulled the The New York Times app in China.

"We would rather not remove apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law where we do business," said Apple CEO Tim Cook last year.

All of this comes amid growing tensions between the United States and China over trade.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

bollman Avatar
32 months ago
Apple: We are the silver knight of personal freedom. Buy our stuff and we'll do our best to protect your information from anyone trying to access it!
China: Hey, we'll have none of that or you're out of here!
Apple: Whops, right, sorry, we'll fix that immediately. Here: We give you a little "something" for that sweet company of yours Didi as compensation. Anything else we can do for ya?
Chine: Yes, remove gambling apps, we do not like gambling apps. Also, we do not like iMessages, it's encrypted, we can't read what people are talking about, fix that too.
Apple: Right you are, we'll get cracking immediately.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Superhai Avatar
32 months ago

I would see hiring a hitman being a crime but putting coins in the slot machines (or similar forms like we have Pachinko here, in Japan) is just a silly choice by people.

The issue with gambling is the addiction, where people put all their savings and even accrue loans to cover gambling debt. This has caused pain for relations and destroyed families, turning to crime to acquire more funds and in the worst cases suicide.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0947347 Avatar
32 months ago

The issue with gambling is the addiction, where people put all their savings and even accrue loans to cover gambling debt. This has caused pain for relations and destroyed families, turning to crime to acquire more funds and in the worst cases suicide.

You are talking about severe cases.
This way, one could argue that alcohol, cigarettes, fizzy drinks, pharmaceutical drugs are also highly addictive and should be made illegal. How about stock market? Many people failed there and lost all.

When will they ban alcohol? When will cigarettes will be illegal? When will they ban a sale of pharma drugs? When will they knock down Wall Street and jail all their gamblers.

Btw, knife is a deadly weapon.
Do you have a kitchen? Do you cook?
If yes, you are a potential murderer :)

In simple understanding, you can find daft enough people abusing anything. Or get abused by anything.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
32 months ago

Also, we do not like iMessages, it's encrypted, we can't read what people are talking about, fix that too.
Apple: Right you are, we'll get cracking immediately.

Completely misrepresenting what is happening.

It seems that crooks in China have figured out how to send spam through iMessage. And since it is encrypted, you can't detect it is spam until the user reads it. That's what the Chinese government doesn't like, and I personally don't like it either. So they are trying to figure out what is spam and what is not. Which is a bit difficult, since Apple can't read the messages until _your_ phone decrypts them.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpn Avatar
32 months ago
this is not so much anti-gambling, per se, but rather that the chinese government is attempting to be able to tax a higher percent of revenue from apps in general.
the statement from apple says: "we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers."
(bold emphasis added).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krizoitz Avatar
32 months ago

Apple: We are the silver knight of personal freedom. Buy our stuff and we'll do our best to protect your information from anyone trying to access it!

Personal freedom != data privacy.

Apple has a stellar record on the latter, while the former, in regards to the App Store, has never been something they have claimed. Apple has curated the App Store since day 1, and limits content based on laws in every country. Most countries have laws which limit content that can legally be made available. Gambling is one of them in many places, not just China. Prohibiting online gambling is one of the least problematic things China has done. You or I may think it’s dumb (it’s probably actually beneficial given the dangers of gambling) but it’s hardly despotic. Now their policies on say political dissidents, THOSE are worth getting upset about.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...