The Chinese Government Axes over 45,000 Apps from the Apple Store Due to Regulations

The Apple Store recently removed 46,000 different apps from their China regional market, after urging from the local government.

China's shift towards technological and socio-economic independence has been making headlines for years. The nation chose invest in local industries for all of its products, which went on to gain international notoriety, as any Made in China label could indicate. There are online alternatives to popular sites such as Facebook and YouTube, with the originals being banned in an attempt to jealously guard social information. While the country is nowhere close to being as reclusive as North Korea, with Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers receiving big draws from the former, its hesitancy to allow proper online mingling with the rest of the world has been noted.

With all of that context provided, the removal of over 45,000 apps from the Apple Store seems much less farfetched a notion. What might be a bit more surprising, however, is that an estimated 39,000 of these were mobile games. The entries, with some famous developers on the marquee such as Ubisoft, were all paid games. While not as affecting to the rest of the world, mobile gaming has seen a very notable surge in Asia, and China's own citizens may not be happy with the de-weeding.

The reason seems to lie with licensing. Paid apps in China must be registered with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) in order to be published, and as it turns out many of the apps on display hadn't complied with this particular rule. And while forgetting to register one's app in a particular country is an oversight that most developers would be forgiven for, the country at hand is China. This is the same country responsible for enforcing censorship to such a point that the Tiananmen Square is but a memory to its locals.

While being sudden in nature, this lashing out towards paid apps isn't the first example. In fact, Apple had to purge over 30,000 separate apps on their store last summer. All of these had the same infraction of not being registered with the local government. Even with all of this in mind, it's very likely that the overall effect on consumers will be short lasting.

All free-to-play games are still available on the store, with the top-downloaded Honor of Kings going nowhere. Analysts have also noted that 97 of the top 100 grossing games on the Apple Store were registered with ISBNs. Ultimately, the only people who lose are developers, who'd be better off getting to licensing as quickly as they can.

H/T: Reuters.

Read next: Data Shows Apple’s Newly Launched iPhones Are the Best Selling 5G Mobiles
Previous Post Next Post