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Apple removes 94,000+ apps, warns Chinese developers of more bans in the future: Report

Apple has issued a warning to game app developers on the App Store to get proof from the Chinese government on license or face ban.

Apple iOS App Store

America tech giant Apple is coming down hard on its Chinese online store as it has removed more than 94,000 games from the platform. Also Read - Apple testing foldable iPhone prototypes similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: Report

To add to the above, thousands of mobile games are facing removal from the App Store as Beijing tightens control over the internet, The Wall Street Journal reported. Also Read - Apple iPhone 13: Here's everything you must know about the next-gen iPhones

Apple’s stance in the matter

The Chinese government had established a rule four years ago where videogames were to be licensed before being released. However, some developers found a back door and were able to skirt this requirement in the App Store’s policies. There has been no comment from Apple on why this loophole existed or why the company started to close it down in 2020. Also Read - Apple's 2021 MacBook Pro to sport iPhone 12-like flat-edged design: Ming-Chi Kuo

Foreign developers have raised concerns regarding this as it’s has been difficult for them to secure approvals in China for their games.

Apple issued a statement saying that developers of premium games that have in-app purchases “would have until the end of the year to provide proof of the government license or the app will be removed.”

China is Apple’s biggest App store market where it makes close to $16.4 billion in a year. According to Sensor Tower report, US sales account for $15,4 billion per annum.

China coming down hard on “illegal” apps

It was earlier this month that The Cyber Administration of China had removed leading US travel platform TripAdvisor from the App Store along with 104 other mobile apps from various online stores as a part of cleaning up the internet on its end.

China carried out this purge without even mentioning the offences TripAdvisor was committing or the other apps, most of which have been developed by Chinese developers.

Chinese regulators were quoted as saying that the removed apps were the first of many that would be taken down in a wide-ranging “clean-up” of online content related to illegal activity, including obscenity, pornography, prostitution, violence, fraud or gambling.

The scrutiny of the App Store in China brings to light the delicate balance of the relationship between Apple and its Chinese counterparts as Apple is looking to reach its consumers while navigating official demands at the same time.

–with inputs from IANS.

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  • Published Date: December 24, 2020 11:26 AM IST



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