Apple reportedly removed 29,800 apps from its China App Store over the weekend. Reuters reported that more than 26,000 games were included in the list, according to data released by research firm Qimai.
The mass removal of apps come as the company faces pressure from the Chinese government to strictly enforce local regulations. Authorities have recently been cracking down on unlicensed games, possibly part of a larger campaign against sensitive content.
Last week, social media giants WeChat and Weibo announced new content rules, and closed dozens of accounts due to ‘malicious’ and ‘sensationalist’ content.
Apple gave publishers a deadline earlier this year to submit a license number issued by the government, which would allow users to make in-app purchases.
While China’s android app stores have been in compliance, Apple appears to be more strictly enforcing the regulations this year, removing 2,500 apps from its store in the first week of July. Some of the apps removed were from popular developers Zynga and Supercell.
Here’s an excerpt from Apple Insider that highlights the large number of unlicensed apps in the China App Store:
“Before the takedown, it was thought the China App Store had around 60,000 games that required either an upfront payment or an optional in-app purchase, factors which would require the acquisition of a license. By contrast, only 43,000 licenses have been granted by the regulator in the last decade, and less than 1,600 were issued in the last year.”
According to industry insiders, the approval process for games that offer in-app purchases is considerably long and complicated, which hinders small- and medium-sized developers.
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