Apple purges 39,000 games from the Chinese app store

Illustration from article titled Apple is purging 39,000 games from the China App Store

Photo: Jewel Samad / AFP (Getty Images)

In his The biggest one-day purge, Apple removed 39,000 games from its Chinese store in a crackdown on government licensed games in the country.

According to Reuters, the news is not a huge surprise. Apple removed around 30,000 apps from the Chinese App Store during the summer, and warned that more would be deleted if they diI did not receive official approval at the end of June. This deadline was then extended until December 31. Only 74 of the 1,500 best paying games remain after yesterday’s purge., and aamong the games concerned are Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to resQimai research firm.

Getting a game approved in China is a long and arduous task for many Western publishers. Basically they need to get a Chinese ISBN from the government—A process that is almost impossible unless foreign developers team up with a Chinese publisher before launch, according to Engadget. Previously, the Financial Times reports that application developers were allowed to put their games on sale in the App Store pending official license. Not anymore.

The great thing here is that while games were the vast majority of purged apps, they weren’t the ones. only those. A total of 46,000 applications were deleted. This follows a long trend of Apple giving in to pressure from the Chinese government regarding which apps are allowed in its App Store. Apple last year removed an app used by protesters in Hong Kong hunt down the police after China said Apple was party to “illegal acts”. Around the same time, this too removed the Quartz news app of its store in China due to the publication coverage of the Hong Kong protests. In 2015, Apple itself blocked his own news app loading in China.

Apple has always needed to be cautious when it comes to China. Not only is it his second largest walked, but Apples Supply Chain is also heavily dependent on Chinese factories. (This ultimately led to delays in Apple’s 2020 product launches, including iPhone 12, due to the pandemic.) The US-China trade war also led the company to consider moving from 15 to 30% of its production capacity outside China.

Having said that, IIt’s not clear why Apple is suddenly demanding strict adherence to a Chinese licensing law that has been in existence since 2016. Android app stores, such as those run by Tencent and Huawei, have historically complied with the law. the Financial Times suggests that this might have something to do with growing tensions with the United States and China, leading the latter to step up its control over Apple. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t appear to be Apple ‘s bottom line. The FT reports that Apple will likely only lose around $ 340 million in sales, with most of the bigger games already licensed.