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China removes TripAdvisor, 104 other apps from stores under cleansing campaign

The logo for a travel website company TripAdvisor Inc is shown on a computer screen in this illustration photo in Encinitas, California May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China has removed 105 apps including that of U.S. travel firm TripAdvisor Inc from app stores in the country, under a new campaign to cleanse stores of apps it deems spread content related to pornography, prostitution, gambling and violence.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that the apps violated one or more of three cyber laws, without providing details for each app.

Reuters’ calls to TripAdvisor’s Beijing office seeking comment went unanswered.

The authority said it started the campaign on Nov. 5 in response to strong reaction from the general public to content deemed offensive. It said it would continue to regulate apps and remove those in violation of the law in a timely manner.

China heavily regulates its cyberspace and punishments for transgressions are not uncommon, irrespective of whether the app is operated by a domestic or foreign company.

Reporting by Pei Li; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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