Apple has warned developers about the imminent removal of thousands of mobile games and apps from the Chinese App Store, the second wave of removals this year.
The Wall Street Journal received an official Apple message sent earlier this month, warning developers to submit proof of a Chinese government license on or before December 31, 2020.
This is the reappearance of the July issue, when at least 15,000 games were removed from the Continental Chinese Language App Store in one month.
To avoid removal, developers and publishers needed the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) of China’s National Press and Publications Administration – a relatively slow process, all but guaranteeing the failure of many companies to comply.
In a statement published for the Wall Street Journal, Apple admitted to receiving requests to remove apps in various regions.
“Apple carefully studies these requests whenever we receive them and we often oppose and disagree with them,” Apple said.
“While the final decisions are sometimes against our wishes, we believe it is best to provide a service to our customers when we stay in the country by giving them access to products that promote self-expression while protecting world-class privacy.”
The WSJ report also cites data from Sensor Tower, which found at least 94,000 removals from the Chinese App Store this year – compared to just 25,000 in 2019.