Apple could pull thousands of mobile games from its China App Store
Apple has been forced to suspend updates for tens of thousands of games available via its China App Store, over growing pressure to adhere to the country’s licensing regulations.
Until now, Apple has allowed mobile games to operate on the App Store while awaiting official approval from regulators, but the company will now require developers to provide evidence of their right to operate in the region.
Although Apple has not yet said it will remove unlicensed App Store games outright, developers will not be allowed to update their titles without the proper certification from China’s National Press and Publication Administration.
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The escalation of clashes with Chinese regulators could prove a significant blow for Apple, whose App Store is more profitable in China than in any other region.
Driven predominantly by game sales, Apple’s App Store takes in $16.4 billion per year in China, with the US market close behind with $15.4bn in sales. According to consultancy AppInChina, the company’s losses could reach up to $879m as a result of the new policy.
The Chinese regulator is also notoriously selective about the mobile games it licenses, approving only 1,570 last year (and 43,000 since 2010), suggesting tens of thousands of apps could face imminent removal from the App Store.
Some developers, including high profile ...
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