Apple removes over 46,000 apps from China App Store

On the year-end deadline for all game publishers to obtain a license in communist China, Apple removed 39,000 game apps on its App Store in the country on Thursday, the biggest removal ever in a single day.

Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store
Pei Li for Reuters:

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.

Including the 39,000 games, Apple removed more than 46,000 apps in total from its store on Thursday.

Apple initially gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases in the world’s biggest games market.

Apple later extended the deadline to December 31.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple has been forced to remove tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of apps from the App Store in China over recent years.


  1. awesome apple ! Lets stomp out freedom every chance we can. Not to mention, no moral stance is worth risking access to cheap slave labor.

    Apple initially gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases in the world’s biggest games market.

    (well at least it won’t effect the bottom line)
    Analysts said the move was no surprise as Apple continues to close loopholes to fall in line with China’s content regulators, and would not directly affect Apple’s bottom line as much as previous removals.

    the stories about the golden Apple empire you dont read on MDN.

    Apple benefits from forced Uighur labor, according to an explosive new report

    more than 80,000 Uyghurs were forced transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.2 The estimated figure is conservative and the actual figure is likely to be far higher. In factories far away from home, they typically live in segregated dormitories,3 undergo organised Mandarin and ideological training outside working hours,4 are subject to constant surveillance, and are forbidden from participating in religious observances.5 Numerous sources, including government documents, show that transferred workers are assigned minders and have limited freedom of movement.6

    (sounds like a work environment that Tim can be proud of)

    According to a now deleted press release,117 Cook praised the company for its ‘humane approach towards employees’ during his visit to O-Film, asserting that workers seemed ‘able to gain growth at the company, and live happily.’118

    Apple supplier accused of using forced labor to create iPhone screens

    Glad to see Tim’s Apple standing by principles. Great Job Tim! you earned every penny of your salary of $3.4 million and a bonus of $8 – $12 million. Everyone in apple’s supply chain can sleep warm and free (metaphorically) tonight knowing the big chief is brining home the bacon. They all are doing their part to help you reach that 2nd billion. No pain no gain right time.

    1. Since you are so brave, why don’t you go to China and break one of their laws in front of a policeman? If you don’t like to travel, just break a US law you disapprove of in front of a policeman.

      1. Why don’t you stop with the strawman arguments already? They are tiresome.

        Tim Cook preaches for everybody’s rights except for the slaves making his products.
        Tim Cook is one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet.
        Fire Tim Cook!

        1. It’s not a straw man argument. It is pointing out that you can criticize Apple in complete safety. You aren’t the Apple China employee who would be putting the welfare of himself and his family in jeopardy by breaking local laws so that some privileged American can feel better about himself. If you don’t think governments should exercise control over the Internet, you can easily prove your commitment by emailing some child porn to your local FBI office. Perhaps if it were your life on the line you would gain some perspective on the compromises that Chinese citizens and their employers have to make every day.

    1. I have reluctantly come to agree that Apple would be better off if it licensed the China App Store to a third party with appropriate contractual safeguards to minimize malware. There are simply too many folks outside China who want to interfere with Apple’s operations inside China, regardless of the consequences for Apple’s Chinese employees, customers, and contractors.

      Creating a distance might be safer for the people who are directly affected by China’s recent turn away from gradually increasing economic, cultural, and even pollitical freedom. When Apple moved into China, it could not have anticipated the turn towards dictatorial Neo-Maoism imposed not only on China’s dominant ethnic group (Mandarin-speaking Han Chinese), but also on minorities like the Uighurs and Hong Kongers.

      Distancing from the App Store probably wouldn’t help Apple’s image with rightists. Individuals who have never noticeably supported human rights in the US or any other non-Marxist country are suddenly bleeding hearts when it comes to China. Some of the same individuals who wanted a ban on Muslims entering the US are suddenly the champions of religious freedom for Uighurs in China. There certainly isn’t a surge in offers to settle Chinese refugees and asylum seekers. I suspect a high degree of overlap between Americans who are horrified by underpaid Chinese workers and Americans who oppose raising the minimum wage in this country.

      Spinning off the Chinese App Store won’t satisfy the anti-Gina crowd, but it might help insulate Apple’s Chinese constituents from the consequences of the complete App Store shutdown that might eventually be the only alternative.

      1. We also agree politically. But I would prefer they didn’t censor me and people willing to develop for me. I should censor myself by choosing where to get applications and content. Just like the real world.

        Happy New Year.

  2. When you see that leftist judges are blocking the ban of Tik Tok, Chinse is using the US legal system to beat us, at the same time they cancel 50000 app from western providers in China. What an irony, bow to your masters please, their servants in US are the democrats

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.