Apple removes thousands of game apps from China store: Research firm

Joanna Estrada
August 4, 2020

Apple kicked more than 30,000 apps off its Chinese App Store on Saturday, including over 26,600 games, possibly in response to a Chinese policy requiring paid games or games offering in-app purchases to obtain a government license before publication, according to statistics provided by research firm Qimai.

Early signs of Apple's purge appeared in February, when the US company asked developers to submit government licenses for their paid games and games with in-app purchases before June 30.

Apple reportedly removed 29,800 apps from its China App Store over the weekend.

Apple has been relatively slow to comply with the regulations, allowing games to operate in the App Store despite regulatory demands to limit access to licensed titles.

Apple sent a reminder to game developers July 8 about its plans for the removal if they didn't meet regulatory requirements for payments by the end of the month, Qimai said, citing an email from the iPhone maker. The application process is relatively hard and expensive for non-Chinese companies to undertake, with games also needing to abide by a number of rules, ranging from avoiding potentially taboo political topics to the appropriateness of character appearances. This year, only 777 games received approval numbers as of July.

The approval process for games looking to enable in-app purchases is long and complicated, hurting all but the largest game developers.

"This affects small- and mid-sized developers' incomes the most, but due to the difficulties of acquiring a business license, it's devastating to the whole iOS game industry in China", Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a firm that helps overseas companies distribute their apps, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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