This week we talked about the most recent meeting of Apple shareholders and one of its most controversial points: the proposal, put to a vote by some of the participants, that could force Apple to reevaluate your app approval practices in China and the company submission to local government discretion.
The proposal, as we reported, was overturned: about 60% of the shareholders present voted against the idea. Still, as informed by the Reuters, the pressure for Apple to take action on this scenario is growing – and, with or without a vote, the company may need to move soon on the matter.
Experts heard by the report said that the votes in favor of the proposal did not come from small shareholders, but from large investors, important for the future of the company. According to sources at Reuters, these major shareholders are concerned about Apple’s human rights policy in China and the possibility that it will scratch the company’s reputation, which is always so closely associated with civil rights.
The moves for Apple to impose itself in relation to China and Beijing’s determinations seem to come, in fact, also from within the company itself. Just remember that the senior director of privacy, Jane Horvath, signed a letter a few weeks ago to the group Access Now (which defends free and unregulated access to the internet) stating that Apple “considers freedom of expression to be a fundamental human right” and that the company “will consider providing more details about this commitment ”in the future.
That is – for now, nothing changes at Apple in relation to China, but those days may be numbered. Meanwhile…
Apple will require Chinese government approval for games
… Things are getting even tighter for developers who want to make their creations available on the Chinese App Store. According to AppInChina, Apple recently sent a notification to studios with developer accounts in China, stating that under local law, games that generate revenue on the App Store will need to be approved by the Chinese government if you want to enter (or continue) the store.
Game developers available on the App Store will have until June 30 to send Apple an “approval number” given by China’s General Press and Publishing Administration (AGIP); there is no information on what will happen if this approval is not granted, but it is to be expected that the games will simply be removed from the store.
It is worth noting that the determination applies only to paid games or that have their revenue generated from internal purchases; those who are monetized with advertising are, for now, exempt from this obligation.
AGIP is responsible for regulating games that are approved for circulation and commercialization in Chinese territory, avoiding very violent or “little edifying” content. It is worth noting, in fact, that the control is already in effect: the game Plague Inc. was recently removed from Chinese app stores for including content that is “illegal in China,” according to the agency.
There is no more information on what this content is, but it is believed that the country has banned the game for its portrayal of a plague that spreads throughout the world and needs to be combated – a theme very similar to the current outbreak of Coronavirus lived by the world. Despite this, Plague Inc. shows these events in an educational way, helping players to understand how diseases spread and are contained.
There is still no information as to whether Apple (and the Chinese government) will back down the decision after explanations by developer Ndemic Creations. Let’s wait.
via 9to5Mac, MacRumors
Update 02/03/2020 at 17:30
Apparently, the whole story goes even further than we thought. In a recently published report, the TechCrunch revealed that the Chinese government already maintains its own approval policy regarding electronic games since 2016 – a policy that, until now, Apple (and the App Store) were not following in Chinese territory.
The question surrounding the game Plague Inc. is precisely this: according to the TechCrunch, its developer had not obtained a license to distribute the title in Chinese territory; availability on the local App Store, so it was irregular.
It is not yet known why Apple started to apply the Chinese government’s game approval policy only now, four years after its application. The fact is that, if nothing changes in the near future, developers will have a much more difficult life if they want to distribute their creations in the Wall Country.