Apple China App Store to remove non-government-approved games


Apple set to remove thousands of unlicensed games from its China App Store that are not approved by the government – including one based on the Communist nation’s Imperial past

  • China requires developers submit apps and wait for a license before publishing 
  • The policy was put in place four years ago, but has been ignored by hundreds 
  • Apple is finally following the protocol and is set to remove thousands of apps
  • The titles will include games based on gambling and China’s Imperial past 

Apple is set to remove thousands of games from its App Store in China that have not been approved by the government.

The country rolled out a policy four year ago that required developers to obtain a license before publishing apps.

However, hundreds have disregarded the law and added their games to Apple’s store while they wait for authorization – the tech giant is also aware of the policy, but has looked the other way.

Apple sent developers a ‘reminder’ back in February that said games without a license by June 20 will be banned and removed.

There are about 60,000 games on China’s App Store and it is speculated that at least a third of them do not have a license.

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Apple is set to remove thousands of games from its App Store in China that have not been approved by the government. The country rolled out a policy four year ago that required developers to obtain a license before publishing apps

The news come from Bloomberg, which spoke to people familiar with the matter and noted that if developers want to keep operating from July they will need to gain approval for their games.

AppInChina Chief Executive Officer Rich Bishop, told Bloomberg: ‘These companies will suddenly lose all revenue from what is typically their second-largest market after the US.’

China has strict rules on permitted content and titles based on gambling, China’s Imperial past and gruesome games are not allowed.

Bloomberg notes that ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ is one that would never have been authorized by the government.

Apple recently sent developers a ¿reminder¿ back in February that said games without a license by June 20 will be banned and removed. There are about 60,000 games on China¿s App Store and it is speculated that at least a third of them do not have a license

Apple recently sent developers a ‘reminder’ back in February that said games without a license by June 20 will be banned and removed. There are about 60,000 games on China’s App Store and it is speculated that at least a third of them do not have a license

China’s regulators require that all games, paid or offer in-app purchases, must first be submitted for review and wait for a license before moving forward to the App Store.

Android app stores have followed the protocol since 2016.

Earlier this month, Apple pulled a popular iOS podcast app from the China App Store.

Called Pocket Cast, the Cyberspace Administration of China believed the technology could be used to access content that has been deemed illegal in the country, The Verge reported.

Pocket Casts says in a statement posted to Twitter: ‘We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship

‘As such we won’t be censoring podcast content at their request. We understand this means that it’s unlikely that our iOS App will be available in China, but feel it’s a necessary step to take for any company that values the open distribution model that makes podcasting special.’

China was the app’s seventh largest market, and the firm said it was ‘considered to be growing.’ 

Apple has pulled apps from its App Store in the past, the most controversial move came last year when the firm removed a social and news app.

The removed programs include smartphone software that allows Hong Kong activists to track police and a US-based app that reports about the ongoing pro-democracy unrest which has lasted for four months.

The news came as the NBA, or the US National Basketball Association, faces mounting pressure from Beijing after one team manager showed support for the demonstrations and the league’s boss backed employees’ freedom of speech.

Apple has pulled apps from its App Store in the past, the most controversial move came last year when the firm removed a social and news app. HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas and other details that are added to a regularly updated map. An Android version and a web version are still available

Apple has pulled apps from its App Store in the past, the most controversial move came last year when the firm removed a social and news app. HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas and other details that are added to a regularly updated map. An Android version and a web version are still available

HKmap.live, a smartphone program that allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements, was removed from Apple’s App Store today after Beijing’s mouthpiece newspaper accused the tech giant of ‘facilitating illegal behavior’.

State-run People’s Daily said in an op-ed: ‘Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?’

Apple said in a statement that HKmap.live was removed because it ‘has been used to target and ambush police’ and ‘threaten public safety.’ It said that it violated local law and Apple guidelines.

HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas and other details that are added to a regularly updated map.

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