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Apple just pulled this piracy app from the App Store

Aaron Mok   

Apple just pulled this piracy app from the App Store
  • Apple removed Kimi, a platform that showed pirated movies and shows for free, from its app store.
  • The app ranked higher than Netflix's app and got over 100 reviews before it got pulled, per Wired.

Apple appears to have removed Kimi, a piracy app that once featured a library of free films and shows to stream, from its iOS app store, Wired reported earlier this week.

The app for bootlegged entertainment included movies nominated for the 2024 Oscars, such as "Poor Things" and "Killers of the Flower Moon," Wired found. It also featured TV shows like "RuPaul's Drag Race" that are currently releasing new episodes. Screen quality varied depending on the selected content, and an ad for online casinos covered the top of the screen, according to the outlet.

But janky resolution and spammy pop-ups didn't stop users from downloading the app. Before it vanished, Kimi rose the ranks in the tech giant's app store — beating the likes of apps from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video on Apple's "Top Charts" for the "Top Free Apps" in the entertainment category, Wired reported on Tuesday. The app also reportedly garnered over 100 user reviews in the App Store.

It's unclear who exactly was behind the app. The app store, Wired observed, listed Kimi's only developer as "Marcus Evan," which could be the creator's fake name.

Business Insider was unable to reach "Marcus Evan" or Kimi ahead of publication.

When asked about the app, Apple told BI that Kimi used a bait-and-switch tactic to make it through its approval process by presenting itself as a vision-testing platform. Apple said it immediately removed Kimi once it caught the lie and has zero tolerance for apps that change after they are reviewed.

The company's guidelines around intellectual property contain language that suggests it prohibits piracy apps.

"Make sure your app only includes content that you created or that you have a license to use," the tech giant's app store guidelines say. That includes streaming of audio and video content and access to third-party services. "Your app may be removed if you've stepped over the line and used content without permission."

This isn't the first time Apple pulled a piracy app. In 2015, Popcorn Time, an app akin to Kimi, reportedly raked in millions of users looking to watch free movies and shows, Wired previously reported. Popcorn Time is now nowhere to be found on the app store.

But the company hasn't just cracked down on piracy apps. In 2019, Apple removed 18 apps it deemed harmful for violating its policies on adware. Two years later, the iPhone maker banned Parler, a social media app once popular among Trump supporters and members of the far-right — after claiming it promoted violence.

Do you have a story to share about Apple? We'd love to hear it. Contact BI reporter Aaron Mok at

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