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Today, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced it was banning over 25,000 apps from the Chinese App Store after continued criticism from the state-run broadcaster, CCTV. Most of the apps removed were gambling or related to gambling. In a statement to CNBC, Apple remarked "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 typically is compliant with the Chinese government but has recently come under scrutiny for not assisting the Chinese state, further tightening privacy constraints in an environment where secrecy as a citizen can get you a poor social network rating.
On Sunday, CCTV said, “Apple established the rules for allowing apps onto its store, but it did not itself respect them, resulting in a proliferation of fake lottery apps and gambling apps.”
In its public statement today, Apple said; "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."
By taking down these apps, Apple is complying with the Chinese government. This is not new for Apple, as late last year, it was forced to remove Skype as well as around 60 VPN apps. Unfortunately, this seems to be the sort of thing that large American corporations have to contend with when crossing the Pacific. In order to be a presence in China, Apple has to play ball.
While 25,000 apps seem like it could add up to quite a bit, especially once you get into the microtransactions involved, this won’t really make much of a dent in the 1.8 million apps offered in China. In fact, this represents approximately 1.4% of the total number of apps offered, so it won’t be too much of a statistical loss. Apple may take a tiny hit from the purchase of these apps but the number is almost impossible to calculate currently. Since the number of apps was not high, the total impact should not be too daunting towards their next quarterly report.