Global tech-giant Apple has decided to remove thousands of games from its App Store China mainland region. The removed games are all without the game approval number by China’s National Press and Publication Administration.
From July 1, all unapproved games will not able to list on the App Store in China mainland region. For the games which have already listed on App Store but without game approval number by the Chinese government, the game will not be available to update in-game for users, as well as the developers will have to submit the approval number to Apple by July 31.
In the big picture, China is the biggest market of Apple’s App Store, along with a $16.4B USD annual sales revenue, according to data from Sensor Tower. The U.S. is the second-largest market with $15.4B in sales revenue.
Due to this new regulation that may lead a massive impact on China’s gaming market, some Chinese outlets have predicted that over 50K unapproved games will be removed from China App Store, and a maximum loss of $880M USD to Apple.
Generally, every game in China needs game approval by the Chinese government, otherwise, the developer cannot monetize their game. In 2018, the Chinese government passed a political proposal, upgrading and merging several governmental departments. One result of this was the government announced a shutdown of some previous government function, including a freeze on game approvals. It also led a slowdown for the government to offer approvals to game developers and publishers.
According to status from China’s National Press and Publication Administration, 9,368 games were offered game approval in 2017, however, only 638 games passed the approval in the past seven months this year.