To say that relations between US and China are tense would be an understatement, as the two leading nations continue to butt heads in every step of the way. There isn’t any sign of a truce either, with Apple‘s latest move sending its Chinese operations to certain doom.
According to AppInChina, the technology giant has removed more than 47,000 apps from the Chinese App Store earlier this month. The purge numbers are in addition to some 4,500 removed games in July 2020, brought on Apple’s newly-enacted policy change, which requires game developers to gain approval from Chinese regulators before putting up their apps. Prior to the shift, there were often parties who would sell paid games and games with in-app purchases whilst still awaiting approval.
The carnage is likely to jeopardise the company’s future in China, which accounts for the biggest App Store market. Data from Sensor Tower (via Business Insider) puts sales figures to be around US$16.4 billion, beating out the US’ earnings of US$15.4 billion.
This isn’t Apple first encounter with China’s playbook of differences. Back in 2016, the team was strong-armed into shutting down the iBookstore and iTunes Movies six months after their launch in the country, as per the demand of a government regulator.
The Chinese App Store now joins Huawei, TikTok, and WeChat on the list of Chinese tech companies that are being targeted by the Trump administration, thus making it more difficult for them to do business on American soil.