BEIJING-Under fired from Chinese state media,
said it removed illegal gambling apps from the App Store in China – a move that could help rid the latest challenge for the American technology giant in its main market outside USA
"Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China," Apple said in a statement Monday. "We've already removed many apps and developers to try to distribute illegal gambling apps on the App Store, and we're keen to find these and prevent them from being on the App Store."
Apple was criticized by Chinese news outlets for not doing enough to filter prohibited content and applications. State broadcasts CCTV, which reported last month that Apple's app store allowed illegal gambling apps disguised as official lottery programs, said Sunday that 25,000 apps were removed.
Apple offers more than 1
Apple cleans up and down the App Store in the United States and removes outdated or spam apps. In China, Apple said that it removed nearly 700 virtual private networks, or VPN apps from the App Store last year in response to new local restrictions. VPN is used by individuals and companies to send secure e-mails, transfer data and access sites blocked in China.
The state media attacks came in a delayed time for Apple, which, like other US companies operating in China, is caught in the midst of growing trade friction between Washington, DC and Beijing.
U.S .. companies attach great importance to the messages they receive from the Chinese government and state media in this sensitive trading environment, said
a director of the China Market Research Group focusing on consumer technology and retail.
"They will move very quickly to try to correct that problem because this is a situation where there may be much more setbacks in the government in terms of regulations," says Mr. Cavender.
In its Latest app report report, CCTV also said that illegal apps that were banned from the App Store would still work with devices by users who downloaded them. It also said that fake positive reviews for the illegal apps had misled some users.  "Apple itself has set up the rules for allowing apps on the store, but it did not follow, resulting in the proliferation of fake lottery apps and gambling apps," said in his report.
Apple's strong bond to China leaving the exposed should trade tensions ratchet up. China accounts for about a fifth of sales. The Cupertino, California-based company also collects their iPhones in China, which means iPhones are a Chinese export that potentially can bl subject to tariffs in the trading line.
Trade experts say that China could hurt American companies either through tariffs or other measures, including media-led campaigns against US goods.
Despite concerns, US brands, including Apple's iPhones, continue to be popular in China, with Apple's stores and many other American brand stores that attract customers as usual.
The state media criticism against Apple also comes at a time when the Chinese government tightens control over the internet environment, as regulators try to block news and entertainment content in violation of the Communist Party values.
Last year, several media, including state-owned Xinhua news agency, have published criticism by Apple for not making enough to filter out banned content on its iMessage service.
Apple has pointed to tools on iMessage that can help users to filter or block spam. Messages sent via the iMessage service are encrypted, which means that only the sender and the recipient can access it. The company says that it can not decrypt these messages and does not log in to any message content.
Analysts have said that since Apple's operating system does not allow encrypted messages to be read, spam filters are not as effective as Google's Android platform, allowing users to allow third parties to read their messages for better spam filtering.
contributed to this article.
Write to Yoko Kubota at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shown in August 20, 2018, published edition as & # 39; Apple Pulls Apps, pressed by Beijing. & # 39;