Apple Chinese App Store removes thousands of games after pressure from Beijing, report says
Apple has removed thousands of games from its Chinese App Store because of pressure from the Chinese government, according to a report.
Citing a memo to Chinese app developers, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple told developers their video games must be licensed prior to being released. Several developers had bypassed this requirement for a period of time. In 2016, the Chinese government required videogame makers to get licenses prior to release.
It is unclear why the developers were allowed to skirt the requirement or why the loophole existed, The Journal added.
Additionally, Apple told game developers and those who have in-app purchases that they need to submit proof of a license from the Chinese government by a Dec. 31 deadline.
Citing data from Sensor Tower, Apple had 272,000 games in the Chinese App Store in 2019, The Journal reported.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple relies on China for a significant portion of its revenue. In its most recent quarter, Apple generated just over $7.9 billion from Greater China, a region that also includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne co-founded Apple in 1977. Nearly 50 years later, the company is the world’s most valuable, with a market cap over $2 trillion.