Back in 2016, China introduced a new rule that required all games on the App Store available in China to obtain a license from the National Press and Public Administration. That said, the rule wasn’t really implemented strictly till now, because of which Apple never really pushed game developers on its platform for obtaining the license.
However, China is now tightening its leash around the App Store, which is speculated to be a result of the ongoing US-China trade war. As a result, Apple has removed thousands of games from the App Store for Chinese users this July. These games failed to show Apple that they had obtained the license as mandated by the Chinese government.
Launching games on the Chinese App Store in itself is a huge hurdle as the country’s government has a number of stringent guidelines and restrictions that the game developers have to abide by. After all the game development is done in tune with the Chinese government’s regulations, game developers have to obtain a license which validates the game.
Based on the data released by Sensor Tower, it was found that more than 2500 games were removed from the App Store and all of these apps had a combined lifetime gross revenue of $34.7 million. Most of the apps that were deleted did not cross more than 10,000 downloads in their lifetime. Only one among all the deleted apps managed to earn more than $10 million.
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Although the Chinese App Store has nearly 60,000 apps, it ended up granting only 43,000 licenses in the previous decade and nearly 1600 more in the last year. All things aside, Apple doesn’t seem to endure much of a loss despite the pull-downs from the App Store, as most of those apps weren’t bringing in much revenue, anyway.
What’s more, the most popular games on the Chinese App Store are licensed. Based on the equity research firm 86Research‘s estimates, it was found that Apple may potentially lose up to $340 million due to the impending decline in sales as a result of the takedowns.