Apple’s App Store was not seen on a list from China’s cyberspace regulator announcing the first batch of mobile app stores that have completed filing business details as part of new rules.
China now requires mobile app stores and mobile apps to submit business details to the government, as part of Beijing’s expanding oversight of smartphone and mobile app usage over the past several years.
A total of 26 app stores operated by companies including Tencent, Huawei, Ant Group, Baidu, Xiaomi and Samsung have submitted filings to the authority, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.
Beijing’s push to tighten scrutiny over apps came into focus when in June last year the CAC issued a new rule requiring app stores to submit business details. The regulator said it would hold app stores accountable if apps contain illegal content.
In August this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published another notice requiring mobile apps to complete filings by the end of March.
The list released on Wednesday signalled Beijing has now begun to enforce those new rules.
The regulations are causing consternation in the industry that publishing apps in the world’s second largest economy will become very difficult and could lead to the takedown of many apps.
Apple has not disclosed how its app store in China will comply with Beijing’s new rules. Experts say Apple’s compliance could lead to the removal of tens of thousands of apps from the US smartphone giant’s App Store in China.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, app stores operated by companies including Tencent and Huawei started demanding apps on their app stores comply with the new rules.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena