Apple Removes Nearly 100,000 Games from Chinese App Store Amid Tighter Internet Control

With China cracking down on apps especially related to video games, Apple has warned Chinese app developers that thousands of more video games will be removed from App Store, reads a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, thousands of video games face removal as Beijing tightens control of Internet.

Apple said in the memo that developers of premium games and those featuring in-app purchases “would have until the end of the year to provide proof of government license or the app would be removed.”

While The Wall Street Journal reported the 100,000 number, other reports indicate the number of removed apps could be as high as 140,000.

From WSJ:

Apple Inc. is booting thousands of videogame apps from its platform in China as the government clamps down harder on such content, illustrating the tech giant’s vulnerability to state pressure on its business.

The iPhone maker this month warned Chinese developers that a new wave of paid gaming apps are at risk of removal from its app store, according to a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal, after the company removed thousands of such apps earlier this year.

The memo referred to was reported by AppInChina on December 7, which tells developers:

As you may know, Chinese law requires games to obtain an approval number from China’s National Press and Publication Administration. In order to keep your paid game or game with in-app purchases available on the App Store in China mainland, enter your approval number and supporting documentation in the App Information section of your game’s page in App Store Connect and submit an update to App Review by December 31. After December 31, your game will no longer be available on the App Store in China mainland until an approval number is provided with your next submission.

The WSJ report says that Apple has removed “at least 94,000” games, according to data from Sensor Tower. However, AppInChina‘s tracking report suggests this is more like 140,000 and counting, as it doesn’t include December’s figures. That data includes a whopping August cull of nearly 40,000 games in a single month, including 26,000 games that were removed in a single day.

The Cupertino company relies on China for a significant portion of its revenue. In its most recent quarter, Apple generated just over $7.9 billion USD from Greater China, a region that also includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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