As it faces growing pressure from the Xi Jinping Government to comply with orders from local regulators, Apple has stopped making updates to tens of thousands of mobile games from the App Store in China.
The Cupertino giant had allowed games to be published and downloaded through the App Store while application developers waited for an Internet Content Provider license from country regulators.
The company had already warned developers that they would need official documentation by June 30 to comply with the law established by the Government in 2016. As soon as the new month started, Apple announced that updates would stop being made if they failed to obtain the license.
According to data from the AppinChina consultant, cited by the Financial Times, the App Store has about 60,000 paid games or in-app purchases in the Chinese market. However, country regulators have issued 43,000 licenses since 2010, with only 1,570 to be launched in 2019.
Several analysts are suggesting that the Chinese government is tightening its grip on Apple due to tensions between the country and the United States. In public statements, Todd Kuhns, marketing manager at AppinChina, indicates that there is no certainty about how the apple company managed to escape the rules for so long. Altogether, the official estimates that the decision could cost Apple losses in the order of 879 million dollars.
It is recalled that China represents the largest market in the App Store, raising about 16.4 billion dollars a year, according to data from the consultant Sensor Tower. The vast majority of revenue comes from gaming applications.
Apple has been criticized for complying with the censorship measures of the Chinese government, having removed, for example, access to certain virtual private networks (VPN) in the country or even several podcast apps, since the authorities considered that could be used to listen to illegal content.
Beyond the unstable relationship with the United States, tensions between China and India are escalating. At the end of June, the country's Ministry of Information and Technology decided to ban 59 Chinese applications, which include the popular TikTok, as they are considered a threat to the integrity and safety and security of the country.
The Ministry claims that it has received several complaints about the targeted applications on the grounds that they were stealing user data and submitting it surreptitiously to servers located outside the country. In view of the information available, (the applications) are involved in activities that are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, as well as the security of the State and public order.