More than 700 apps including several popular ones were removed from Apple Inc's app store for the Chinese market on Tuesday, drawing speculation on social media platforms as to what happened.
Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo on Tuesday confirmed that its app had been removed from Apple's app store due to technical flaws in the latest version.
"The company has contacted Apple and will put the app back after an immediate fix," a PR staffer from Pinduoduo told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The staffer noted that versions of the app in Android's Google Play and the iOS app (business version) downloads were not affected.
After the news about Pinduoduo spread across Chinese social media, some users found that Pinduoduo was not the only Chinese app that had been removed from Apple Inc's app store.
A report on Chinese news website toutiao.com said that a total of 718 apps were removed from the Chinese app store on Tuesday, including Sogou Inc's map and navigation apps.
Apple did not offer a comment to the Global Times as of press time.
"It's likely more than just a technical problem. If that was all, it should be relatively easy to fix and the apps shouldn't have been removed for long," said Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based internet analyst.
"It's probably because these apps violated Apple's app store policies such as the in-purchase agreement."
Regardless of the reason, this latest episode highlighted Apple's lack of transparency in its app store policies, Liu said.
"If Apple stays on its high horse and refuses to communicate with app developers and consumers more efficiently, it will suffer the consequences," Liu said, adding that Apple is already losing ground in the Chinese market.