Apple's efforts to keep the Chinese App Store clean and safe result in another 700+ exclusions
In fact, China is not only the world’s biggest smartphone market (by far), but also Apple’s top earner when it comes to App Store downloads. Obviously, the company is keeping a close watch on this big cash cow, frequently cleaning it up of titles that could weaken the security of iPhones and iPads sold regionally, as well as anything else that goes against local laws and regulations.
After removing VPN apps at the insistence of the Chinese government last year, followed by a massive crackdown on illegal gambling platforms just a few months ago, Apple kicked out another 700+ App Store titles earlier this week, according to local and international media reports.
This time, the target was not a specific app category, but rather a particular violation of the company’s rules for app updates. These clearly specify that any and all changes have to go through the actual iOS App Store so Apple can verify their integrity and honorable intentions.
Apparently, that doesn’t always happen, as certain Chinese app developers sometimes deliver updates directly to users without allowing Apple to vet them first. Even though this is not an entirely new practice, it obviously has to end, so in order to discourage its escalation, drastic measures were called for.
Among the 718 apps recently found guilty of this capital offense, some exclusions are likely to make a large number of users unhappy, including several titles owned by search giant Sogou, as well as popular e-commerce platform Pinduoduo.
It’s unclear when these banned apps might be allowed back in and under what conditions, and we also don’t know if Apple plans similar cleanup operations for its international App Store. Devs should probably avoid this type of funny business if they want to stay safe, though.