Apple purges thousands of games from the App Store in China

nanoguy

Posts: 581   +8
Staff member
Why it matters: The US-China trade war took a new height when the Trump administration placed a ban on TikTok and WeChat. At the same time, American companies like Apple depend greatly on Chinese suppliers and consumer demand in the region, which is why they're trying to appease Chinese regulators like never before.

Earlier this month, President Trump issued a pair of executive orders that will soon prohibit any US transactions with TikTok and WeChat, the latter of which is owned by Tencent, one of China's largest tech companies.

The move is supposed to stop the spread of Chinese apps, which are believed to be parasitic in nature and prone to become spyware platforms for the Chinese government. At the same time, Chinese officials have reportedly been pondering about the idea of responding in kind ever since Huawei was deprived of the most important links in its global supply chain.

One of the first targets could be Apple, whose Chinese operations include manufacturing, selling devices, and operating the App Store. Until now, the Cupertino company has been able to get away with more loose censorship of the App Store by virtue of the jobs it created in the region, the taxes it paid, and the technology transferred to Chinese suppliers. According to a report from The Information, that may be about to change. This month, Apple removed more than 47,000 games from the Chinese App Store to comply with new regulations that require paid games with in-app purchases to get approval from Chinese officials before their release.

That said, this wouldn't be an unprecedented move -- back in 2016, Apple was forced to shut down the Chinese versions of iTunes Movies and the iBook Store. It's also something that Apple has happily done before with apps like Quartz and the Hong Kong protest app, both of which were removed to appease Chinese government officials, even if it wasn't the sole reason.

A survey of more than 1.2 million Chinese iPhone owners has revealed that they would rather switch to Android than give up WeChat

The App Store in China has been operating using a loophole, which seems to suggest that Apple negotiated a deal with the Chinese government to make it possible. Normally, it would have had to operate it under a joint venture with a local partner -- the same way it does with iCloud, whose Chinese operation was taken over by a state-owned company with privileged access to source code and user data.

This means that Apple is likely to face a tough environment in China in the near future. The country is Apple's second biggest market after the US in terms of device sales, and the Chinese App Store generated revenues of $11.5 billion in 2019.

The WeChat ban is expected to cause a significant drop in iPhone shipments in the region, and a survey of more than 1.2 million Chinese iPhone owners has revealed that they would rather switch to Android than give up WeChat, which is seen as a necessity for their daily lives.

Permalink to story.

 

Eldritch

Posts: 254   +330
Apple in USA : We won't be helping FBI with San Bernardino terrorism case because we stick to our values.

Apple in China : Here's the purge of Apps as required, my lords. Earlier also we had purged even the map apps simply as Hong Kong protesters were using them. We are also sending our user browser data to Tencent servers so you can see which websites they are visiting and even provide user IP address so you can uniquely identify them. All Hail.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 48   +97
If I had $2,000,000,000,000 I'd be at WAR with anything and everyone I had any issues with whatsoever with no care as to the inevitable outcome of me winning.

This week, we are buying into the Apple stock split to help make Apple as powerful as possible.

These are epic times.
And Apple is going to thank you for your donation and keep colecting chinese money No matter what they have to for the CCP in return. Apple didnt become a company worth 2 trillion dollars by standing up for democracy and freedom, and as long as they dont stand to earn money doing so they wont be starting Any time soon.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 48   +97
The CCP: we will stop you from these anti competitive attacks on chinese apps fostered on groundless allegations.

Also the CCP: btw if you want to conduct business in china here is a list of anti competitive measures weve taken so our companies can steal your IP and we can spy on our citizens that youll need to adopt.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 6   +4
I don't envy Apple's position. Clearly they are caught in a very difficult situation. Instead of trying to double down their business in China, they should consider how they can do better elsewhere. China market is huge, I get that. But it is not easy doing business there with all the demands from the regulators there. Also they are not immune to the hostility between US and China, and will surely be facing uphill challenges with China making things harder for them.

In terms of WeChat, I am not surprise that the Chinese will not use an iPhone without WeChat. Its almost like the reason why people don't use Huawei phone which does not have official support for WhatsApp. It is also the primary chat tool that they can use in China. I wonder if Apple will decide to let them side load it, since they can't have the app on the App Store. Let's see how far will Apple bend their own rules to remain in China. If they allow people to side load, then they need to be prepared for a barrage of lawsuits coming their way. EPIC being at the front of the queue.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,474   +5,980
Apple has figured it out .... moving production facilities out of China and now removing applications as well. The more China is isolated, the more they will suffer from their own illicit activities and under their current leadership, they deserve everything that happens to them.
 

Endymio

Posts: 562   +432
If I had $2,000,000,000,000 I'd be at WAR with anything and everyone ... with no care as to the inevitable outcome of me winning.
Guess what that little "$" symbol means in front if your two trillion figure. Dollars. U.S. Dollars.

Two trillion dollars in US currency-denominated debt is only an asset as long as the US chooses to recognize it.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,474   +3,313
Guess what that little "$" symbol means in front if your two trillion figure. Dollars. U.S. Dollars.

Two trillion dollars in US currency-denominated debt is only an asset as long as the US chooses to recognize it.

You mean, like, forever more?