Report: Apple will require all App Store games to have ISBNs in China from July

Report: Apple will require all App Store games to have ISBNs in China from July

Apple will reportedly require all games launched on its App Store to carry an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) in China from July 1st, 2020.

According to Duoku Game VP of business development Gio Zhang (via LinkedIn), the new policy was announced by the China Press and Publication ministry, with the government stating that regardless of who the developer, publisher, or firm is, an ISBN number will be needed to secure a release in the country.

No details were given on whether already existing titles in China will now need to update to adhere to the new ruling.

Seeking approval

The new rule was also discovered on Apple's background review page (via WeChat using Google Translate).

"According to Chinese law, games need to be approved by the State Administration of Press and Publication," reads the newly implemented policy.

"Therefore, please provide us with the approval number of any paid game or game that offers in-app purchases that you plan to release in mainland China by June 30, 2020. You can enter the game approval number and date below. For more details, please refer to the original notice. If you have questions, please contact us." has reached out to Apple for more details.

Apple recently confirmed that its previously set sales targets for the quarter will likely not be met as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Staff Writer

Matthew Forde is the staff writer for and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @Forde999 talking about Smash Bros. and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.


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Stephanie Davies
This is not the correct use of the word ISBN. The International Standard Book Number is for books.
Andy Cowe Developer at Moonjump
The title and first paragraph say all games must have an ISBN. Later on the report talks about state approval, but only for paid or IAP games. That sounds like two different issues, but the story reads as the second part being an expansion of details on an issue from the first part. Which is it?
Matthew Forde Staff Writer at PocketGamer.Biz
It's pointing to all games but is unclear at the minute. We've reached out to Apple for more details.
Virat Virat