To comply with Chinese national policies requiring all paid games or games with in-app purchases to be approved by the country’s regulators, Apple is set to remove thousands of games from its App Store in China, starting from July, according to Bloomberg.
The massive takedown will end a loophole that allowed publishers to operate their products on the App Store while awaiting approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television of China.
Unlike major Chinese third-party Android app stores run by local internet giants like Tencent, Xiaomi, and Huawei, which have enforced such rules since 2016, unlicensed games, such as Grand Theft Auto, have been allowed on Apple’s platform, despite not counting with the government’s authorization, which could take months.
It is unclear why Apple has not moved faster to implement Chinese regulator’s requirements, although, according to the firm, it has already removed 194 apps from the Chinese App Store in the first half of 2019, due to legal reasons.
The Cupertino-based company said earlier this month that the App Store ecosystem generated USD 519 billion in billings and sales worldwide in 2019, while Chinese users contributed with almost half of those sales, with USD 246 billion.
This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.