Apple’s China App Store Removes More Than 2,500 Games Due To Legal Issues

According to data released by the app-analytics firm SensorTower, after United Based tech giant and iPhone maker Apple Inc closed a loophole to comply with Chinese licence requirements, authorities in China have removed more than 2,500 mobile games from Apple’s China app store. This was done in the first week of July and it as four times the number of apps that had been removed in the same period in June.

Apple had directed all the developers and publishers of the games that generate revenues to submit a government-issued licence number that gives them the permission to make in-app purchases as is required under Chinese laws and had been in place for a long time for Android-based app stores. The publishers were given till the end of June to furnish the licenses. Analysts said that there is some ambiguity about why Apple allowed such games to be a part of its app store for a long time in China.

According to SensorTower, Supercell’s farming hit “Hay Day”, “Nonstop Chuck Norris” from Flaregames and “Solitaire” from Zynga were among the more popular and notable games that have been removed from China’s App Store in July so far.

There were no comments on the issue available from Apple.

“It’s possible these games will be available again in future, however, but have been gone from the storefront for more than five days,” said Randy Nelson, head of Mobile Insights at SensorTower.

The individual reason for the removal of each of the games as not possible for the app-analytics firm to determine individually, but the sharp hike in the number of games removed was quite discernible, he said.

A total lifetime gross revenue in China $34.7 million ha been generated by the games that were removed from Apple’ app store in China in the first seven days of July with a combined total number of downloads by iPhone users in China of more than 133 million.

In recent years, government control of the video game market in China – the largest in the world, has been significantly tightened in the country and those games that seek to monetize and generate revenues for themselves often have to undergo a lengthy process of gaining government approval sand a license to do so.

Following allegations from Chinese authorities and regulators of containing illegal content, apple removed the video game “Plague Inc” from it China app store in February this year. This game had garnered popularity amid the novel coronavirus pandemic as people were forced to stay indoors to prevent the rapid spread of the pandemic.

Analysts noted that there was no proper license for the game available with the publishers of the game and it was also unlikely that it would have been given such a license by the Chinese regulators.

(Adapted from

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