There were apps from its App Store in China that were deemed to fall foul of Chinese regulations. At least 4,000 of these apps were tagged with the word “gambling,” “Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday.Apple said it routinely removed apps from its store, but declined to comment on the number of apps it removed. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The move follows a period of increasingly negative state media coverage of Apple in China, often accusing the company of not doing enough to combat illegal online activity. American companies are forced to bend to the Chinese government’s rules if they want to do business in the country. In the past year, Apple has removed Skype, as well as hundreds of virtual private networks, or VPNs which are used to send secure emails, transmit data and access websites that are blocked in China. Apple has also been accused of not doing enough to filter banned content on its iMessage service. At the same time, American goods such as Apple’s iPhones continue to be popular in China.