Apple removes a four-year old loophole in App Store

apple app store app publishing

Apple is in the process of cleaning up some apps from its app store in China and the Plague Inc., a simulation game is such an example, as the app was removed from the app store citing reasons of “illegal content”.

The Apple investors are quite unhappy with the company taking down apps in China. Several major shareholders were of the opinion that Apple must uphold their human rights commitment and be more transparent in its approach towards Beijing’s requests to ban apps.

But from Apple’s viewpoint, the company is merely closing a regulatory loophole that had existed for years. The Chinese government in 2016 had stipulated that video games both PC and mobile must apply for an ISBN number before entering the Chinese market.

Android mobiles had plenty of alternative options as domestic tech giants started rolling out Android stores that ruled out illegal games. Also, the official Google Play store is not available in China. But somehow Apple managed to keep several unlicensed titles in the world’s largest gaming market because of the revenue these games bring into the company.

This had attracted the attention of Chinese officials, who were pressurizing the company to take strict measures. And now Apple is clearing off the hurdles for app publishing in the country and has begun asking games for proof of government license.