App StoreSource: Joe Keller / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is removing thousands of games from its Chinese App Store.
  • Over 11,000 have been removed since changes to licensing laws in the country.
  • It has now told developers that they have until July 31 to get their affairs in order, or else...

Apple has removed over 11,000 games from its Chinese App Store in the wake of changes to Chinese licensing rules, and there's more where that came from.

Earlier this month Apple was forced to remove thousands of games from its App Store in China following changes to licensing restrictions in China. From that report:

All app developers need an official license from regulators in China to put their games on Apple's App Store. Previously, developers were allowed to have their games go live whilst they were waiting for their license to be approved. A rule change earlier this year means that developers will now have to secure a license before submitting their apps. The change came into force on June 30, and Apple's initial response was to freeze updates for "tens of thousands" of mobile games from unlicensed developers.

Over 4,500 games were removed in just three days, and the latest AppInChina data shows more than 11,000 games have now been removed.

The only reprieve for developers was that Apple was only removing games if they were updated, meaning games could sit on the App Store without being actively removed. This, however, is all about to change.

In an email sent to developers, Apple has stated that if developers want to keep any paid games, or games with in-app purchases available on the App Store in China, then they must enter their approval number and supporting documentation in the App information page of App Store Connect, before submitting an update to App Review. This must be done before July 31. After that, games will no longer be available on the China mainland App Store until an approval number is provided. This means that there will be a mass cull of paid games, or games that offer IAPs that do not have licenses from August 1.