China’s app stores begin compliance with China’s latest regulations

Tencent and Xiaomi are among the app store owners now complying with the government’s regulations

China’s app stores begin compliance with China’s latest regulations

Chinese app store owners operating on Android, including mobile giants Tencent, Huawei, and Xiaomi, have begun complying with the new regulations passed by the Chinese government last month, barring publishers from launching apps if they fail to make the required disclosures.

Reuters reports that the rules are a cause for concern for publishers, imposing new barriers on success and leading to the possibility that many apps will need to be removed from the world’s largest mobile gaming market.

As part of the ruling, China’s existing restrictions on game licensing has been rolled out to all apps, requiring both government approval and for foreign game makers to either work with a Chinese publisher or establish a branch within the country in order to successfully publish their products.

"The Android app stores have confirmed that new apps require the app filings from Friday onwards, and existing apps must have it from March 31 onwards," said app publishing firm AppInChina CEO Rich Bishop. "It forces all global apps on these app stores to either establish a local entity or work with a local partner."

A digital wall

Android based app stores in China sent notices to publishers stating their intention to bar any new apps without the required paperwork from their platforms. Apple, however, has yet to disclose how it intends to comply with the country’s new restrictions, and is not yet checking the filing status of apps published on the App Store to ensure compliance. All app stores operating within China will be required to mark the filing status of each app hosted on their platforms.

Google Play, which is unavailable in China, has not been affected.

Huawei’s notice to publishers specifically notes that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has established a dedicated task force to enforce the new regulations, and has scheduled talks with industry participants to discuss what they can do to comply with regulations.

We listed Tencent as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2023.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.