Apple is “concerned” about China’s recent app store regulations that prohibit unregistered foreign apps

In accordance with a report from The Wall Street Journal, in recent months, Apple staff and Chinese officials met to discuss the new app store regulations introduced by China. Notably, the new rules set by China limit several foreign apps offered by Apple in the China Apple Store.

Well, this is not something new when it comes to China. Several popular social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, X (now Twitter), and WhatsApp are blocked in China. However, Chinese iPhone users can still access them from an unauthorized VPN. It gives users access to an internet server located outside China. In 2017, China barred VPN services from the App Store. According to Sensor Tower’s report, the above-mentioned apps have been downloaded more than 170 million times in China from the App Store over the last ten years.  

Chinese officials reportedly informed Apple staff that it must carefully enforce regulations against unregistered foreign apps in order to close a loophole permitting Chinese iPhone users to download them. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the new rules in July. According to the new regulations, Apple can’t offer such apps from next year until or unless the apps are registered with the government. One thing to notice here is that the new rules have been introduced for both local and foreign app distributors.

Well, it is unlikely for the operators to register their apps with the Chinese government given the data transfer and censorship requirements. In this situation, Apple has no other choice. The company can either remove such apps or face legal disputes. The report indicates that the Chinese officials informed Apple that the new rules were introduced to prevent the violation of China’s censorship rules.

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