Chinese social e-commerce platform Pinduoduo is among around 700 apps removed from Apple’s China App Store after the latest version of the PDD app was found to contain a technical bug, our sister site is reporting.

No details have been provided indicating the nature of the bug, but the company says it has been in contact with Apple and the app will be back online after the issue has been resolved. The removal only affects buyers on the platform and not its merchant’s app. Users of numerous Chinese Android stores also remain unaffected, as well as iOS users who have already downloaded the app.

Update: The app reappeared in the App Store around 11 pm on November 27.

Pinduoduo is not the only online platform impacted by the purge. B2C car maintenance platform Tuhu, Soguo Maps, and Sogou Navigation were among those also removed. According to reports, 718 apps in the Chinese App Store were suspended.

This is not the first time this year Apple has initiated removals of this kind. In May, more than 10,000 apps were dropped, some of which were relaunched up to two days later. A vast number of these apps did not meet Apple’s standards for in-app purchases, which allow users to buy virtual goods within in-app or game.

Pinduoduo has had a turbulent year. Shortly after listing on the Nasdaq, the company found itself under investigation by Chinese regulators for listing fake goods. The news led to a spate of lawsuits in which investors claimed the company had misrepresented or concealed in its listing documents, resulting in financial losses after its share price plunged after going public.

The company responded by closing 1,000 stores and removing four million listings that it said contained fake goods. It also reported 36 companies to the market regulator in Shanghai’s Changning District.

The company has seen momentous growth in the past few years. The company claims it exceeded a gross merchandise volume of $100 million in 2017, just three years after being founded. The same milestone took Taobao five years and 10 years to reach.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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