Apple removes 39,000 games from China app store in crackdown on unlicensed apps

Apple removes 39,000 games from China app store in crackdown on unlicensed apps
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Apple moved to purge thousands of games from its app store in China on Thursday as part of a crackdown on games that are not licensed by the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

The move, which came after Apple set a Dec. 31 deadline for companies to obtain licenses in order to remain in the app store, reportedly swept up titles from major companies including Ubisoft.

According to Reuters, research firm Qimai found that just 74 of the top 1,500 paid titles remained on the platform after the purge.

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Apple did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

An analysis of China's video game industry earlier this year found that just a few dozen foreign titles are granted licenses by Beijing each month; a blog post on a website owned by Chinese video game company Yaji Software described the process of obtaining a license as "practically impossible" without partnership with a Chinese-owned company.

Apple's Chinese app store previously made headlines in 2017 when the company complied with a request from Beijing to remove The New York Times app.