Apple recently removed a range of illegal lottery and gambling apps from its App Store, after CCTV News reported on users’ property loss brought about by using these apps, cctv.com reported.
An iPhone user surnamed Mou suffered a loss of 120,000 yuan (about $17,516) after downloading and using a lottery app on the App Store in April of this year. Although he called up Apple’s customer service center several times and reached its Shanghai office to report the situation, he did not receive a response. He now has filed a lawsuit against Apple for his losses.
Although Apple has the right to release game, gambling and lottery apps on the premise that the laws of concerned countries and regions are checked, the company did not obey these restrictions, causing proliferation of illegal apps.
Statistics indicate that over 500 false lottery apps were removed between July 31 when the program was broadcast and Aug. 13, with the figure for gambling apps removed standing at more than 2,000 for the single day of Aug. 9.
Mou also revealed that although most apps with the keywords "gambling" and "lottery" can no longer be downloaded on the App Store, those that have already been downloaded to users’ mobile phones can still be used.
Liu Kairen, a web development engineer, explained that as Apple adopts a blacklist system, prohibiting apps from running requires a huge number of online complaints to draw the platforms attention.
However, the fact is that a number of illegal lottery apps are given top evaluations on the platform, which are purchased by app development companies. Such counterfeiting makes it harder for Apple to isolate and blacklist the apps.
It is not enough for Apple to merely remove the illegal apps from its App Store, Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Communication Law Research Center at China University of Political Science and Law stressed, adding that it should also ban the accounts and impose punishment for the law breakers to prevent them from continuing to create such apps.
The China welfare lottery distribution and management center also reminds consumers that lottery tickets can only be purchased at physical stores and selling the lottery tickets online and via apps are both illegal.