Apple’s Chinese App Store Faces Heat Over Pornographic Content

On July 26, news that the Apple App Store in China has many pornographic apps became a hit search on domestic social media. Reports alleged that while some apps on the platform may appear normal, they actually contain pornography and other content illegal in China.

Such digital applications are often disguised as casual games, short video apps and private chat apps in their introduction page. When users open them after downloading, however, they find illegal pornographic content, and are constantly induced to pay for the content. However, some users said they did not obtain what they wanted after payment, calling it fraud software.

Some netizens found many games that simulate theft and robbing, limiting the age to only eight years old, and the keywords are “stealing” and “robbing.” This potentially poses a great danger to the mental health development of teenagers.

One industry employee said that an app needs to pass the official review of Apple before entering its App Store. However, developers of illegal apps usually didn’t add banned content to the first version of the app submitted for review.

The Apple App Store is not exempt from bans on pornographic apps. Hu Gang, the deputy secretary-general of the Legal Affairs Committee under the Internet Society of China, said in an interview with an Economic View reporter that the App Store participated in the distribution and sales of apps, and that it was a community of interests with developers. If there was a problem with app, the App Store could not be exempt from it, but was a joint responsible party and should bear joint and several liability.

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