Apple Pulls 39,000 Games From China App Store, In Biggest Purge Ever
Apple pulled 39,000 game apps from its China store on 31st December 2020, as it set year-end as the deadline for all game publishers to obtain a license. This is the biggest removal from the app store ever in a single day.
Apple also removed more than 46,000 apps in total from the China app store. Games affected include the Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to research firm Qimai. The removals come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.
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Only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on the Apple store survived the purge according to Qimai.
Apple had initially given game publishers on its till the end of June 2020 as the deadline to submit a government-issued license number which would allow users to make in-app purchases in the world’s biggest games market.
The company later extended the deadline to 31st December 2020 and apparently the removed games were not able to get a license number.
The move is also a tad surprising as although China’s Android app stores have been complying with the regulations on licenses, Apple is only beginning to enforce them more strictly this year.
According to Reuters, Analysts say the move is no surprise as Apple continues to close loopholes to fall in line with China’s content regulators, and would not directly affect Apple’s bottom line as much as previous removals.
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