It’s hard to be a developer in China looking to release their own mobile games and apps. The state censorship machine tracks any free information and requires a corresponding license for all developers. Such a requirement has existed since 2016, but only now they began to approach it most strictly.

Until now, there was a loophole that allowed games and applications to appear in the App Store without this license. But, apparently, it will not work for a long time to sit on two branches. Many game developers received a notice from Apple this month. According to him, games of specific developers will be removed from the Chinese App Store if they do not provide a special license from the Chinese government by December 31, 2020.

The decision concerns paid games and games with in-app purchases. Also, the Chinese government has demanded the removal of hundreds of applications that are deemed illegal. Among them is the well-known travel app Tripadvisor.


Such a purge will not be the first in the past year. In 2019, about 25 thousand applications were removed from the Chinese App Store, and for the entire 2020 – at least 94 thousand. Exactly how many applications will be removed during a new sweep is unclear. In July, it became known that up to eight thousand games may be removed from the App Store, the developers of which have not provided licenses.

The main problem facing foreign developers is that it is tough for them to obtain a license.

By opinion game analyst Daniel Ahmad, such a purge is a long-overdue clearing of China’s market brought about by existing law.

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