Apple May Remove Thousands of Games from App Store in China Next Month

Earlier, in 2018, the tech giant Apple had to remove enormous 25,000 apps because they broke Chinese laws

The tech giant Apple is set to eliminate thousands of games from the Chinese App Store that don't have the proper government approvals. The publishers and developers have reportedly been told that they will need to secure licenses to continue selling their games from July.

It seems that Apple has finally begun complying with a law that came into force back in 2016 under which it is mandatory for developers to obtain a license in order to run their apps in China. Even though Apple has asked for the license number when apps are submitted for review by the developers, the companies have been turning a blind eye to loopholes used by major publishers and as a result, unlicensed games were still being published in the interim.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the number of Apps downloaded during an Apple event in San Francisco, California Robert Galbraith/File Photo/Reuters

No Games Without License

As reported by Bloomberg, as of now games like Grand Theft Auto (GTA), whose gruesome depictions of violence are unlikely to ever pass muster with Chinese censors, were allowed inside the country's border. The regulators in China want all games that are either paid or offer in-app purchases to submit for review and obtain a license before publication, but still, there are some unapproved games.

As per the early reports, Google has been going along with the ban since 2016 but for some reason, Apple has not. In February, the tech giant Apple, which recently removes the U.S. podcast platform Pockets Casts App from China Store, told iOS developers that they must get the right licenses for titles to be sold in the China App Store by June 30.

There are around 60,000 games on the App Store in China which fall under the paid category or offer in-app purchases. Reportedly one-third of these do not have the problem of license to operate. The recent decision by Apple could result in many games, especially foreign ones, losing one of their biggest markets after the U.S., as China made up about one-fifth of the $61 billion in digital goods and services sold last year in the App Store.

But, this is not the first crackdown in the Chinese App Store as in 2018, Apple had to remove 25,000 apps because they broke the Chinese law. Many of these deleted apps were gambling-related, which is illegal in the Asian country outside of state-sanctioned lotteries.