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China lists mobile app stores that comply with new rule, but Apple missing

by Maine Bacos

China’s cyberspace regulator has released the names of the first batch of mobile app stores that have completed filing business details to regulators, indicating the enforcement of new rules expanding its oversight of mobile apps. A total of 26 app stores including Tencent, Huawei, Ant Group, Baidu, Xiaomi, and Samsung have submitted filings to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

However, Apple’s App Store is notably absent from the list. The company has not responded to Reuters’ request for comment on its compliance with Beijing’s new rules. The new regulations require mobile app stores and mobile apps to submit business details to the government, causing concern that it may become challenging to publish apps in the country and many apps may need to be taken down.

China has been tightening its scrutiny over smartphone and mobile app usage in recent years. In June last year, the CAC issued a rule requiring app stores to submit business details and hold them accountable for apps containing illegal content. In August this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a notice requiring mobile apps to complete filing by the end of March.

App stores operated by Tencent and Huawei have already started demanding app developers comply with the new rules. Experts predict that Apple’s compliance with Beijing’s regulations could result in the removal of tens of thousands of apps from the App Store in China.

China’s increased oversight of mobile apps aims to ensure better regulation and control over app content and operations. The government is seeking more transparency and accountability from app stores and developers. However, critics worry that this strict enforcement could stifle innovation and limit access to information.

The outcome of Apple’s response and compliance with the new rules in China remains uncertain. It is likely to have a significant impact on the app landscape in the country and may raise concerns about censorship and freedom of expression. As the situation unfolds, stakeholders will be closely watching for updates on how Apple plans to navigate the regulatory environment in China.

In conclusion, China’s cyberspace regulator has begun enforcing new rules that expand its oversight of mobile apps, with 26 app stores already filing business details. Apple’s App Store is not among the list, raising questions about its compliance and the potential removal of apps from the store in China. The tightening regulations in China’s app market continue to have implications for developers, businesses, and users, while also igniting debates over censorship and control.

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