Tens of thousands of apps, primarily games, have disappeared from Apple’s Chinese App Store. The company does that to comply with local law.
The large deletion happened on August 1 and was noticed by analytics company Qimi Data, according to The Register. Most of the 27,000 apps are video games.
These are apps that are paid or have in-app purchases. According to The Register, Apple is executing the removal because it violates Chinese law. Since 2016, it has stated that software with in-app purchases must have a license.
The law remained a dead letter in the App Store for a long time, but Apple warned developers early this year that they would get until June 30 to get it in line. Now the rule is also effectively applied, and Apple removes apps that don’t comply with it.
It remains strange that Apple takes action after four years. It may be because of political tensions between the US, home to Apple, and China.
In recent years, the US has been trying to seize every possible mistake by Huawei to punish the company severely, thereby hitting China. As of this month, it has been doing something similar with Tik Tok, which is probably now partly sold to the US.
Apple may now want to comply with Chinese law to the best of its ability to prevent China from punishing or restricting Apple to hit the US.