Another brick in the Great Firewall: China begins censoring mobile apps


Online censorship in China is nothing new. From Facebook, to media outlets, to porn and anything in between – just name it and it's likely been censored in China to some extent. Up until now, however, mobile apps were more or less immune to governmental censorship practices. Not anymore though, as online app stores are now required to register with the state. The new regulatory measure was passed Monday, the WSJ reports.

The new regulation is aimed the plethora of app stores cropping up in China by the month. There are currently over 200 app stores in China, according to research by mobile marketing company AppInChina, and their number is continuing to grow. A lot of these distributors have no strict guidelines for reviewing content before it's released to the general public.

How exactly the Chinese government plans to review the thousands of apps that are being released on these online storefronts every month, remains uncertain at this point.

β€œIt’s almost impossible for the regulators to register and supervise all the millions of apps there one by one,” said Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Communications Law Research Center at the China University of Political Science and Law.

With in-app purchases from Google Play services disabled in China, and local manufacturers not pre-installing Google services on their Android devices, the world's biggest smartphone market has turned into a fertile field for countless Android-based app stores. The most popular ones are run by Chinese web search giant Baidu and social networking company Tencent Holdings. There are hundreds of others, however, owned by much smaller entities.

How China's plans to block yet another channel of digital media content will play out remains to be seen.

sources: WSJ, AppInChina

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7 Comments

1. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

China's government sucks. Making a bunch of lousy stupid laws

2. Papa_Ji

Posts: 848; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Good job... Now just ban the Apple App store.... to kick fruit company out of China.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Yep, just like how they kicked Google Play Store out... The Chinese government is all screwed up.

3. sumpil

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 02, 2016

China is a country that no-one should do business in. They make silly laws about apps and which companies can do business there but can't make useful laws that protect Human beings from been exploited.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Donald trump is right. China is the main economy eater of the world right now. They play a silent but an aggressive game in conquering the world in trade thus improving their economy massively. Unless someone stops this, China will will become the monopoly in businesses in the entire world.

6. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I really don't see how that works out. They take insane advantage of their ability to build stuff cheap due to gigantic labour force, they ignored environmental concerns others had to contend with. Is it really a wonder they could produce things cheaper then anyone else? not in my book, and has very little to do with their government. Of course now they are facing the consequences of their lack of care for environment and whatnot, so yeah, unsure how much this has to do with Trump at all. Well unless he's expecting American workers to work for wages on par with china?

7. bebo2019

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 16, 2018

China is a country that no-one should do business in. They make silly laws about apps and which companies can do business there but can't make useful laws that protect Human beings from been exploited.

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