Virtually all of those were gambling apps, which are illegal in China, reports Reuters. While Apple itself has not confirmed the number of apps removed, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV pegged it at 25,000, which is about 2% of the 1.8 million apps in the Chinese App Store. The removal comes after CCTV criticized Apple’s management for allowing the apps on the App Store in the first place. In a statement Apple said:
“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.”
This latest purge of apps followed another purge last year where Apple removed all VPN apps from the Chinese App Store. “We would rather not remove apps, but like we do in other countries, we follow the law where we do business,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year.