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8,000 games have been pulled from the App Store in China over missing ISBNs

8,000 games have been pulled from the App Store in China over missing ISBNs

July 9, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon

Apple announced last month that it would soon bring its App Store policies in-line with Chinese regulation and require paid and in-app purchase-bearing games and apps to receive official government approval to appear on its storefront starting in July.

According to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, Apple has now pulled somewhere in the ballpark of 8,000 games from the iOS App Store due to their lack of a government issued ISBN. The company has also now said that developers looking to keep their monetized games up on the App Store in China have until July 31 to supply it with a government issued ISBN or risk a similar fate.

“As you may know, Chinese law require games to obtain an approval number from China’s National Press and Publication Administration [...] After July 31, your game will no longer be available on the App Store in China mainland until an approval number is provided with your next submission.” reads the email shared by Ahmad over Twitter.

It’s not a new policy for paid games or games with in-app purchases in China, though a series of loopholes and efforts on Apple’s end have kept the platform from fully enforcing ISBN requirements until just recently. However the process to obtain government approval isn’t a quick or simple one by any means, complicating things for unsanctioned apps that may have grown comfortable on the App Store in China over the past several years.

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