Apple purges 46,000 apps from China App Store over lack of licenses

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2020
Apple has continued its China App Store purge, with the company pulling a record-breaking 46,000 apps in one day to fall in line with licensing requirements in the country.

Apple's App Store
Apple's App Store


The one-day purge is Apple's single largest removal in one day, likely to meet the December 31 requirement set by the China government.

According to a report on Friday from Reuters, the purge included 39,000 games. Notable titles stricken from the app store include Ubisoft titles NBA 2K20 and Assassin's Creed Identity.

The report also claims that 74 of the top 1500 paid games in 2020 remain available for sale or download.

Chinese gaming revenue is an important part of Apple's income for the App Store, but the restrictive regime in the country makes earning money a challenge for foreign developers. After four years of ignoring the gaming law, which the Chinese government established in 2016, Apple started to inform developers in February 2020 that they needed to acquire and prove that they had a license to publish games in the App Store. Developers had until June 30 to submit the license.

Prior to the December 31 culling, app analytics firm Sensor Tower believed that 94,000 apps had been removed from the China App Store in 2020. From January to November 2020, Apple's gaming revenue in China was $13 billion. That's 14% higher than in the same period in 2019 -- but the 2019 revenues were themselves 21% higher than the year before, impacted by a wide shutdown of games.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Here we are starting to see the real problem with that Apple are deliberately staying away from making web apps able to work more like native apps; that political power is able to completely handicap the platform (and the users) in certain regions.

    Yes, I absolutely get that Apple want to make more money (and keep more control) by not opening up for native apps to be loaded from outside of their AppStore; and I actually still fully support that (due to security reasons). But…

    One of the main reasons why web apps aren't enough in many (most?) cases is the lack of "background notifications"; which we've seen Apple without hesitation solve in MacOS.

    So get that going, and some other solutions like web bluetooth, and most of the legitimate criticism of the AppStore would go away; and Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,350member
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    n2itivguytokyojimuwatto_cobraGeorgeBMacdewme
  • Reply 3 of 10
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 10
    flydogflydog Posts: 949member
    svanstrom said:
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.

    Give it a rest.  Apple is a business, and is required to comply with the laws wherever it operates. That fact that you may disagree with a particular law does not give every business on Earth carte blanche to disregard it. 

    And just FYI, I am a developer in the US, and the city where I live requires me to have a license.  In fact, many professions and businesses must be licensed, from barbers to medical doctors.  


    n2itivguytokyojimuwatto_cobraGeorgeBMacdewme
  • Reply 5 of 10
    flydog said:
    svanstrom said:
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.
    Give it a rest.  Apple is a business, and is required to comply with the laws wherever it operates. That fact that you may disagree with a particular law does not give every business on Earth carte blanche to disregard it. 

    And just FYI, I am a developer in the US, and the city where I live requires me to have a license.  In fact, many professions and businesses must be licensed, from barbers to medical doctors.  
    Give it a read, because you are completely missing my point here (in a number of ways); it's less about China, and more about what Apple actively is doing to restrict some of their platforms, and how that is manifesting itself on certain markets (like within China).

    There are a lot of security reasons for keeping the AppStore, and in no way opening it up; but Apple is also intentionally limiting their mobile device platforms web-based functionalities to unnecessarily force certain types of apps into the AppStore. In ways that has nothing to do with security, nor whether or not developers needs to be licensed or not on certain markets.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,473member
    svanstrom said:
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.

    Wasn't the U.S. one of those "dictatorial regimes" trying to block selected apps from the App Store?  
  • Reply 7 of 10
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    svanstrom said:
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.

    Wasn't the U.S. one of those "dictatorial regimes" trying to block selected apps from the App Store?  
    Not yet, but we’re heading that way with the progressives running the show.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 10
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,473member
    razorpit said:
    svanstrom said:
    jkichline said:
    svanstrom said:
    Apple will also get less criticism for kowtowing to dictatorial regimes.
    China is a sovereign state and whether we agree with their policies or not, they are still a sovereign nation and Apple, if they want to do business there, needs to abide by their laws. We wouldn't want China coming here and doing what they please without obeying our laws either.

    While I understand your ideas about web-based apps, they can simply be blocked with a firewall or open those developers up to lawsuits by China. Additionally, if those game manufacturers want to be paid (likely) then they need to be able to exchange currency. This places the onus on financial institutions like Stripe and others... who in turn would likely be required to block payments from China if they don't have a license. Generally while you may not agree, that is the law in China and operating without a license is unlawful and Apple must comply. 
    First of all, Apple is not the US government, nor are there political officers assigned by the US government to control Apple; so that whole "what if China did [this] in [other country]"-thing doesn't apply at all, even if the technological aspect of your argument was valid (and it isn't).

    Apple avoiding to implement existing open standards that would help standalone web apps implement core functionality expected by users (like notifications) is forcing whole categories of apps into the AppStore, where they become subject for Apple to police to follow local laws… What would happen otherwise with payments and firewalls and whatnot is irrelevant here; because here it is about Apple intentionally avoiding to implement open standards without those open standards being a security risk to their users.

    And by doing that they end up having to kowtow to dictatorial regimes. Like China.

    Wasn't the U.S. one of those "dictatorial regimes" trying to block selected apps from the App Store?  
    Not yet, but we’re heading that way with the progressives running the show.

    You are not only forgetful but delusional
    ... Well, maybe oblivious rather than forgetful:  The Orange WannaBe Fuhrer is in the process of renewing his attacks on those angry, teenage users of TikTok.  When they embarrassed him  by undermining his Tulsa rally he declared them a National Security threat -- and even though a judge essentially told him to sit down and shut up, he just won't let it go...

    edited January 1
  • Reply 9 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,614member
    razorpit said:
    Not yet, but we’re heading that way with the progressives running the show.
    Are you so willing to literally lie and blame progressive policies after Trump tried to ban TikTok for embarrassing him?  I’d consider you ignorant, but that’s a stretch.

    jeez.. this is the problem with forums.  People can literally lie and hope people believe it as fact.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    A “license” to become a developer. LOL. No wonder so many Chinese want to get the hell out of there.
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