Apple just loves those Chinese dollars.

Via Ars Technica:

Apple has told iPhone app developers that it “will start removing thousands of mobile games lacking government approval from its App Store in China next month,” Bloomberg reported today, citing anonymous sources. “The decision ends the unofficial practice of allowing games to be published while awaiting authorization from the country’s slow-moving regulators.”

As Bloomberg notes, “China’s regulators require all games that are either paid or offer in-app purchases to submit for review and obtain a license before publication, and major Android app stores have enforced such rules since 2016. But unapproved games have flourished on Apple’s iPhone platform.” The Apple policy change “clos[es] a loophole” that “allowed games such as Grand Theft Auto, whose gory depictions of violence are unlikely to ever pass muster with Chinese censors,” to be available in China.

We contacted Apple about the report today and will update this story if we get a response.

Apple has pulled apps from the App Store in China numerous times to comply with Chinese rules and requests from the government. In one recent case affecting a game, the maker of pandemic simulator Plague Inc said its game was removed from the iOS App Store because authorities said it “includes content that is illegal in China.” Apple also pulled two podcast apps from its store in China earlier this month.

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