Apple removes nearly 30,000 apps from the App Store in China: report

Apple App Store icon

It is not the first time that Apple has been forced to eliminate applications under pressure from the Chinese government.

Apple; illustration by Stephen Shankland / CNET

Almost 30,000 apps were removed from the App Store on August 1 for not being officially licensed by local regulators.

Ninety percent of the apps that were removed by Apple were games, according to a report by research firm Qimai, cited by Reuters on August 1. In February, Apple asked application developers to prove that they had a license for their games before June 30. According to the source medium, Apple on July 8 sent a reminder to developers about the imminent removal of their applications in case they did not meet regulatory requirements. The company eventually blocked updates to thousands of mobile games that had not been officially licensed.

Some of the removed games were owned by major developers such as Zynga or Supercell. The removal of applications that lack official licenses is the result of pressure from the Chinese government on Apple to comply with local regulations in force since 2016.

In 2018 Apple removed a total of 25,000 gambling apps from China’s App Store for not having a legal license from the country. In 2017 Apple was forced to remove hundreds of virtual private network (VPN) applications at the request of regulators, as these were used by users to bypass the Great Firewall of China and thus be able to access social networks and foreign news completely banned in the Asian country.

Apple does not respond to requests for comment on reports or leaks.

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