In one day, no less than 46,000 apps disappeared from the official Apple store in China, most of them – about 39,000 – playing games. Apple has not released any official announcement on the subject, so the source of the news is various companies that are bouncing activity in the app store, and are the ones who warned of the sudden change.
The filter also did not miss popular games developed by some of the largest game companies in the world. For example, Apple has decided to remove the mobile version of the action game Assassin’s Creed from Ubisoft, as well as the NBA 2K20 basketball game. In total, out of the 1,500 most popular and lucrative games in the Chinese app store, only 74 remain in place and the rest can no longer be installed.
Even in the absence of official clarification from the company, the disappearance of the games is not particularly mysterious. It is clear that this is an almost complete response by Apple to the demands of the Chinese government, which has long required the company to remove from the store any application developed in the absence of an official license that is nothing but confirmation from the authorities that the game does not contain “problematic” or “morally harmful” political messages. In the past, Apple has sent warnings to developers that it will have to remove apps from the store that do not display such a license, and now, as mentioned, the threat has become acts.
Apple chooses to cooperate with the authorities, and in return is allowed to sell its devices and services directly in China. Google, on the other hand, chose years ago not to comply with Chinese censorship rules. This decision has resulted in Android devices being sold in China without Google’s official app store, and most of the company’s services, including its search engine, are blocked for use by users.