Apple purges thousands of apps from China App Store amid CCP pressure

In an illustration of Apple’s vulnerability to state pressure on its business, Apple is purging thousands of videogame apps from the App Store in China as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) clamps down on such content.

Apple logoTim Higgins for Dow Jones Newswires:

The iPhone maker this month warned Chinese developers that a new wave of paid gaming apps are at risk of removal from its app store, according to a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal, after the company removed thousands of such apps earlier this year.

The app-store purge comes as China has stepped up efforts to police its internet, tightening content controls and censorship, including a demand that Tripadvisor and more than 100 other apps be removed from the Apple store in the country. The Cyberspace Administration of China called the apps illegal without spelling out the offenses Tripadvisor or the other apps, most of which are from Chinese developers, had committed. Tripadvisor declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Apple told developers in a memo that premium games and those with in-app purchases had until Dec. 31 to submit proof of a government license. “Only a small fraction of these games are actually going to be able to get a license, as far as we can tell,” said Rich Bishop, chief executive of ChinaInApp, which works with Western companies to get their apps into China.

Apple had 272,000 games in its China App Store last year, according to Sensor Tower, a company that tracks app business globally. For 2020, it has found at least 94,000 removals from the China store, far exceeding the 25,000 game apps taken down last year.

Critics have questioned Apple’s decision to comply with some of China’s demands, saying they run counter to Chief Executive Tim Cook’s stated desire to stand for freedom of expression, privacy and human rights… Almost a third of the apps absent from Apple’s China store were related to what the [Campaign for Accountability] advocacy group deemed “hot button human rights” topics, such as Tibetan Buddhism, protests in Hong Kong and gay or transgender rights or themes…

MacDailyNews Take: What is so dangerous that the people of China cannot be allowed to read, see, and/or hear? Who doesn’t trust and/or fears an informed Chinese public and why?

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

   — Ellen Hopkins

22 Comments

  1. Would somebody please explain how Apple could refuse to remove an app from the Chinese App Store that the Chinese Government has declared illegal while also keeping the Chinese App Store open? If it were to close, effectively bricking every iPhone and iPad in China, who (other than Apple’s competitors) would benefit? The “illegal” apps are not going to be available in any case, so outside of virtual signaling, why make every other app unavailable, too?

    1. …. legal right and moral right are not always the same thing. CCP China has millions of ethic minorities “ensalved” in reeducation camps. Apple is doing good with working with modern day salve masters?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYyUqrMuQ (@ 7 min you get the racist mind of CCP slaves)

      Apple always preaches to us about social justice and our shared responsibilities in the global community. But like Disney and the NBA that apple social passion and sense of duty stop cold at the great firewall of the CCP.

      If Apple is such a “responsible” and “enlightened” corporation then they should stop ALL business with the CCP until the systematic genocide stops. There is lots of innocent blood on that shiny new iPhone.

      Tim Cook should hide in shame.

      1. Agreed and well said!

        “Critics have questioned Apple’s decision to comply with some of China’s demands, saying they run counter to Chief Executive Tim Cook’s stated desire to stand for freedom of expression, privacy and human rights…”

        Tim Cook is the ULTIMATE PHONY SJW and will not stand up for human rights one atomic particle if it affects Apple’s bottom line in China and his job.

        HYPOCRITE COOK to the nth degree like most a la carte liberals who selectively pick and chose their outrage on some issues and blind eye to the others.

        Cook can redeem his hypocrisy if he pulls out of Communist China 100%. Do it Tim, do it A.S.A.P.!!!

        Bring jobs back to the USA that you exported to China as a result of the worst trade bill NAFTA ever passed by the Clinton presidency.

        Just do it and prove to the world you care more about human rights than big business corporate profits!!!

        We will be watching…

        1. I know it’s not your quote, but how the hell does a censor ever get considered to be in favor of freedom of expression?

          Why doesn’t MS and any Linux district have this issue with China? Could it be because they aren’t the IT department and the only store?

          1. Technical semantics a censor is either 100% against or partially for free speech. In the USA we agree to censorship of offensive terms like the N-word and others to preserve dignity and harmony in society. And certainly yelling fire in a crowded theater is also a form of legal censorship or at least condemnation punishable by law.

            As to Linux and MS, don’t know and don’t care the topic is Apple’s HYPOCRISY.

            Happy Holidaze!…

            1. Political correctness is social, but not legal censorship. You can be shunned, but not jailed. You can’t be prevented.

              Setting bounds on the content of devices you don’t own is censorship of other’s property. It’s unambiguous.

        2. Uhhh… NAFTA is the North America Free Trade Agreement…. and its sequel ( USMCA in USA, CUSMA in Canada, T-MEC in Mexico ) which was touted as a revolutionary change by the previous administration is basically the same as NAFTA… with some minor incremental changes.

          Apparently NAFTA wasn’t so bad after all… also had a way better and less confusing name… as it didn’t include country names.

    2. There isn’t such a thing as a responsible, “enlightened” or “good” corporation. Once we accept Milton Friedman “corporations only exist to deliver profit to shareholders” we can get back to expanding big government, which actually does have a obligation to the people. As corporate power has expanded over the past 40 years, public power has contracted. Time to change that.

  2. So, you cannot point out a single person anywhere in the world who would be benefited if Apple decided to defy Chinese law. You might want to shift your focus to events in this country.

    How about the involuntary servitude in forcing Air Force personnel to fly without flight pay and Army and Marine personnel to fight without combat pay? How about ending protection from eviction for millions of Americans, many of them ethnic minorities? Ditto for unemployment benefits. Why does Tim Cook get slammed for virtue signaling over US policies where he has some influence, AND for not engaging in virtue signaling in China, where he has no influence at all?

    1. “Why does Tim Cook get slammed for virtue signaling over US policies where he has some influence, AND for not engaging in virtue signaling in China, where he has no influence at all?”

      Only the número uno Apple APOLOGIST does not have a grip on reality, no surprise.

      “Virtue signaling” is an EMPTY political position signal that accomplishes absolutely nothing in and of itself in both the USA and China.

      What we have never heard from liberal TxUseless is condemnation of CCP and Apple doing business there. NOT ONCE!

      Instead, we get the same excuses over and over Apple is following Chinese law. What law??? CCP China allows censorship and tracking citizens, intimidation, torture, confinement of Muslims and religious sects, disappearance and murder of dissenters.

      Is that the law you support following? You are selective, like Cook, about laws that benefit Apple and BLIND to the rest that commit human rights violations…

      1. Chia is terrible, but if Apple stopped doing business in countries that do not have a 100% human rights record, it would have to stop everywhere. How about the country where killing 14 unarmed civilians, including women and children with their hands up, earns a presidential pardon? Or the country where well-connected white white-collar criminals get a pardon while other criminals who stole less are left in prison? Or the country where participation in a presidential coverup is rewarded with a presidential pardon?

        How about the country where service members going into harm’s way have their hazard pay vetoed? Or the country where a veto is cutting off benefits for the unemployed? Or the country that refuses to take action on the federal level against official oppression by bad police officers, thus tarring good officers with the same brush?

        Are those the laws that YOU support following?

        1. “Chia is terrible, but if Apple stopped”…

          Chia pets are both Kitsch and tacky.

          Stopped reading at the setup EXCUSE WORD “but”. So, once again right on queue, or is it cue, the número uno Apple Apologist does not address the issue.

          My post: “What we have never heard from liberal TxUseless is condemnation of CCP and Apple doing business there. NOT ONCE!”

          Let’s review again: What we have never heard from TxUseless is condemnation of CCP and Apple doing business there. Only excuses why the SJW FAKE Cook and TxHypocrite turns a BLIND EYE to the almighty corporate dollar. Greedy corporations come in two flavors, Democrat and Republican.

          Bottom Line: More Apple excuses does not cut it! Either Apple and TxDeflection are for human rights and free speech rights or they are NOT inside Communist China borders.

          Tedious excuses and more TxUseless tedious volumes of DEFLECTIONS coming in 3… 2… 1…

          To the rest of the socially responsible honest free thinkers out there in MDN Land, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidaze!…

      2. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…by all that is sane, “your head should explode” for sheer duplicitous stupidity.
        For someone whose badge of honour is slamming social justice warriors and sneering “”virtue signaller!” at the merest mention of a valid concern, you now in a face_palm pot_kettle_black instant shamelessly become a VIRTUE SIGNALLING FAKE SJW for “ censorship and tracking citizens, intimidation, torture, confinement of Muslims and religious sects, disappearance and murder of dissenters.”
        But then whooosh…reality departs.

        Your illogic would inevitably result in…
        Apple being outlawed in China
        Apple losing 75% of its manufacturing capability, it’s IP, developers and App Store revenue, access to components…everything.
        The cost of Apple equipment would double, become uneconomic and result in Apple becoming a niche company.
        Is that what you want?’
        Not withstanding that history shows us disengagement leads to even more oppressive behaviour.
        One last thing.
        Joe Biden is your president.
        Merry Christmas

        1. My God are you a clueless Libtard! You believe FAKE virtue signaling accomplishes anything??? Then you also believe words accomplish MORE than actions??? That is not the issue here, the issue is the corporate beancounter Cook places profits above human rights in China, got that simpleton? Biden is not president at present, stop lying like the biased media. We shall see and I’m mature enough to accept the outcome of the most corrupt presidential election in U.S. history…

            1. How does it help human rights? Virtue signaling might make some Americans feel better, but provide no tangible benefit for anybody else. It would throw a bunch of innocent Chinese, well paid by local standards, out of work. It would possibly lead to retaliation against senior Apple China employees. It would end any leverage that Apple may be using behind the scenes to improve conditions. Who is better off?

  3. Facebook and that gutless asshole who runs it are acting the same as the Chinese, censoring what doesn’t fit their globalist, snowflake, progressive leftist narrative. You can’t have it both ways … tell China to leave apps alone they don’t like and live fat, dumb and happy with that pervert running Facebook and his sidekick running Twitter to continue to censor things they don’t like.

  4. GoeB is a pernicious blowhard on this forum — long on verbiage, but short on logic, reason, and fact.

    GoeB, you are great at projecting outrage about China, but what have YOU done to combat it? If you are so offended by Apple’s response the the CCP, then vote with your dollar and stop buying Macs and iPads and iPhones. While you are at it, stop buying other products from China, since Apple is not the only corporation supporting the economy of China.

    Better yet, pull out your passport, fly to China, and stage a public protest against the censorship policies of the CCP.

    What? You are not pursuing any of these actions? I am shocked…shocked I tell you…at your never ending, hypocritical blather. Put up or shut up.

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