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Apple Said to Pull 25,000 Apps From China App Store

Apple (AAPL) shares were barely higher pre-market Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the technology giant has removed as many as 25,000 illegal apps or 1.4% of the total apps sold at its App Store in China.

The removed apps sold fake lottery tickets and provided gambling services. The company had recently come under fire from state media for allowing the proliferation of illegal content on its iMessage service as well as having illegal apps in its mobile distribution platform. Apple offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, the newspaper said, citing data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” the company said in a statement, without confirming the total number of apps removed. “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.”