Two of the world’s biggest brands, Apple and Google have cut out hundreds of apps from their shop. The companies said that they are unlawful gambling apps that were displayed as non-gambling products. Trend Micro, a cyber-security business had revealed that their research discovered hundreds of Chinese-facing gambling apps that were masked as legal apps that were centered around on weather and entertainment. Some of these applications were on the Top 100 lists and were evaluated more than 100,000 times.
Thereafter, the business got in contact with the two super technology businesses and told them about the illegal apps. The applications have since been removed.
Operation Requirements and App Hidden Switch
Apple and Google both offer gambling apps in their stores but have terms and conditions. The company that runs the app must state that it adheres to the laws, acts and industry regulations of its target market. Google states that its operators need to register for certification. The certificate is received if the business can show they exclusively grant their services to approved states. They are not allowed to sell to minors and have to include details about being a responsible gambler on the homepage.
On the other hand, Apple said its developers need to leave HTML5 coding and adopt native applications stemming from the iOS operating system. Trend Micro saw that all of the apps it investigated were not following the above-stated terms and conditions. They noticed that the apps had gone through inspection because they had a hidden “switch”. The switch could be triggered after the review process to display their intended content to the customer.
Trend Micro came across one application that displayed tourist information but would take people to a lottery system. There was also another app that talked about wine. A lot of these were duplicates of real applications that were operated by legal companies. It was also discovered the fake apps usually do better than the legitimate ones in the Apps Store in China.
China Attacks Apple
Chinese state media lashed at Apple in August 2018. They claimed that Apple didn’t do a good job to make sure its residents are safe from apps that have concealed pornography and gambling content. The state television network pointed out the App Store in China for allowing illegal web-based lottery programs to run. Even though Apple cited that it operates with strict policies, the state television network didn’t seem to be hearing any of it.
Some speculated that the Chinese government might be targeting Apple in hand with the expanding trade war in Washington. Apple relies on Chine for about one-fifth of its profits, the company has a lot to lose if the country cuts them off.