Sections
Best Places to Work graphic

Making the games industry a better place to work

Find out more
Best Places to Work graphic

Over 8,000 games pulled from App Store in China in one week

Apple clamps down on paid games or titles with in-app purchases that have not been approved by Chinese regulators

Apple has removed more than 8,000 from the iOS App Store in China, and is expected to pull more by the end of the month.

The news emerges from Niko Partners' Daniel Ahmad, who shared an email issued to developers with premium games or free-to-play titles that feature in-app purchases.

The email states that Chinese law requires all such games to have a valid publishing license number, or ISBN, from the nation's National Press and Publication Administration -- the government body that regulates game releases.

Developers have until July 31 to submit this approval number. All unlicensed games will be removed from the China mainland version of the App Store from August 1, 2020.

Ahmad stated that more than 8,000 games were removed from the store between July 1 and July 8.

As he observes on Twitter, this is not necessarily a new development but more a "long overdue correction of the market."

In 2016, China passed a law that all paid games or games with in-app purchases must be approved by the gaming regulator.

Android stores have been enforcing this since 2016, but loopholes have allows developers to launch on iOS in China without a valid ISBN.

Apple is now complying with the regulation and clamping down on its store. According to Niko Partners, it warned developers and publishers last month they would require an approval number by July.

Niko observed that, as of June 2020, 50 of the top 100 most downloaded apps on the Chinese App Store were unlicensed. However, 97 of the top 100 grossing games did have a legal ISBN.

Best Places to Work graphic

Making the games industry a better place to work

Find out more
Best Places to Work graphic

More stories

The Epic vs Apple judgement leaves much undecided | Opinion

Apple must allow app developers to point consumers at alternative payment methods - but there will be many more legal wrangles before the impact on mobile games is clear

By Rob Fahey

Does the Epic vs Apple judgement open iOS to more legal attacks?

Legal experts discuss the ramifications of the recent court decision in the ongoing dispute

By James Batchelor

Latest comments

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.