Apple Warns Developers Of App Takedowns In China As Beijing Tightens Control

Apple warned developers of more app takedowns in China’s App Store, as Beijing requires mobile games and apps to get an official license before December 31.

According to the memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant warned developers to submit proof of a government license before the last day of the year if they want to continue operating on the Chinese App Store. 

Thousands of mobile games and apps are expected to be removed from the app market very soon and this would be the second wave of removal this year after 15,000 games were removed only in July. Another 104 apps including Tripadvisor were removed in December due to their content. 

According to the data from Sensor Tower (via The WSJ), at least 94,000 apps and games were removed from the Chinese App Store this year, which is up from 25,000 in 2019.

In order to avoid the removal, developers are required to get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) from China’s National Press and Publication Administration. Getting it takes time, however, it is the only way to maintain their app availability on the Chinese App Store.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple said it has received app removal requests in different regions.

“Apple studies these requests carefully whenever we receive them, and we contest and disagree with them often,” said Apple. “Though the final decisions sometimes run contrary to our wishes, we believe that our customers are best served when we remain in the country providing them access to products that promote self-expression with world-class privacy protections.”

What do you think? 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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