Apple to remove unlicensed gaming apps from App Store in China

By Manikanta Immanni
Apple Appstore

Apple is set to dump all those gaming apps without proper licences in China starting in July 2020. The Cupertino-based firm has already warned developers and publishers in the country back in February, and now the time has come. This new ruling would affect small developers who are relying on China’s iOS store without obtaining approvals from local government.

The Time Has Come

Since the US is slashing China’s Huawei in all ways possible, China too is eyeing on similar opportunity to exploit. And if the same happens, it’s Apple that’s going be clamped down first. If the US and China grow their cold war, Apple could face the same fate as Huawei. Anticipating this, Apple’s is doing everything to soften the eastern regulators.

This starts with warning the developers and publishers in China, who are publishing their gaming apps on local iOS store without regulatory approvals. The nation wants all the paid or in-app purchases gaming apps to submit their work and obtain a license before publishing on Appstore. Yet, one-third of nearly 60,000 gaming apps in China, that are on local iOS store, don’t have licences.

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Apple takes about 30% cut in app’s earnings, and China’s been the second-largest market after the US with $61 billion revenue from iOS in 2019. All these reasons stake up to push Apple to bow for China’s demands, thus it’s now making free developers obey rules. This isn’t easy though. China’s slow-moving regulators don’t catch up with local developers submissions, thus many have to drop down themselves.

While big companies like Tencent and NetEase have resources to modify themselves quickly according to laws, minor developers turn helpless. Yet, they’re trying by affixing one license to many of their apps with similar logos or gameplays. But this is not enough. While they can try switching their revenue model by display ads in apps, this is unwanted by most users.

Apple hasn’t specified the exact time it would take to drop unlicensed apps, but it’s been warning since February this year. The same regulation is followed by most Android app stores since 2016, and now, Appstore’s time to act on.

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