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Apple to Remove Unauthorized Games From Its App Store in China

By Donna Fuscaldo – Jun 22, 2020 at 12:23PM

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Starting in July thousands of games that didn't receive a license from the Chinese government will be removed from Apple's China App Store.

After years of looking the other way when it came to unauthorized games in its China-based App Store, Apple (AAPL 1.45%) will begin removing them next month. 

The iPhone maker will remove thousands of mobile games starting in July and will require developers and publishers to get a license from the Chinese government in order to remain in the app store, reports Bloomberg.

Several app icons flying out of a smartphone.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Since 2016, any mobile games users have to pay for or require in-app purchases have been subject to review and licensure by the Chinese government before publishing. Android device stores have followed the rule, but Apple has largely ignored it.

While Apple hasn't enforced that rule, it did remind game developers in China that they would need licenses by the end of June. However, with many developers unsure if the tech stock would now enforce the rule, Apple was forced to make it more official, reports Bloomberg. Apple is now telling developers their games will be banned and removed from the App Store if they don't follow the Chinese government's guidelines.  

In recent weeks, Apple has been acting more amenable to the Chinese government's demands when it comes to content on its platform. Earlier this month, it removed Pocket Casts, the podcast client, from the China App Store after the government's Cyberspace Administration decided it could be used to access content the country considers illegal. The iPhone maker also removed Castro, another podcast app in China. Apple didn't provide either company with specific reasons for why the apps were removed.

Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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