Apple removes numerous ChatGPT-like apps from China App Store due to upcoming regulations

Image Source: Apple

Apple is taking action against ChatGPT-style apps in China amid new regulations. According to a report, over 100 apps offering such services were removed from the Chinese App Store ahead of upcoming changes in the country’s rules. The crackdown is aimed at promoting healthy content and adhering to “core socialist values.”

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Apple has taken down several apps in this category. The reason cited in the notifications sent to the affected developers was “because they include content that is illegal in China.”

According to data from Qimai, all of these apps were removed from the China iOS App Store on Tuesday. Among them was Spark, an app developed by iFlyTek that offered ChatGPT-type services, even though it was launched with significant attention on June 29. Additionally, ChatGAi Plus, a popular app that provided chatbot, AI translation, and writing services, was ranked 9th on the China iOS App Store’s paid app chart before being taken down on Tuesday afternoon, as per Qiami records. 

Apple is cracking down on generative AI apps in the China App Store before new regulations take effect on August 15. These regulations aim to promote “healthy content” and uphold “core socialist values” in the country.

China introduced the world’s earliest and most comprehensive regulation on generative AI models last month, crafted collaboratively by seven Chinese regulators, including the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The regulation, scheduled to be enforced on August 15, applies to all generative AI content services, such as text, pictures, audio, and video. Companies intending to offer such products to the public must focus on promoting healthy content, refraining from generating false information or content that jeopardizes national security.

Apple frequently removes apps from the App Store worldwide when regulations and requirements change. China is no exception and experiences this more often than other markets. Although China has been granting new licenses, and the country’’s 2023 game approvals are expected to exceed the last two years’ total, Apple has taken its own precautions in recent years because of Chinese game approval regulations.

Written by Gizem Yılmaz


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