Apple missing from China’s lists of mobile app stores – As a sign that it has started enforcing new regulations that expand its oversight of mobile applications, China’s cyberspace regulator announced on Wednesday the names of the first batch of mobile app stores that had finished providing business information to regulators.
The list does not include the App Store from Apple. A request for comment from Reuters was not immediately answered by Apple.
Over the past few years, Beijing has increased its monitoring of mobile app and smartphone use. The nation now demands that mobile app stores and mobile apps provide the government with business information and details.
The industry is concerned that these laws will make it impossible to publish apps in the second-largest economy in the world and that many apps may need to be removed.
When the CAC released a new guideline in June of last year requiring app stores to provide company details and announcing it would hold app stores accountable if apps contain unlawful content, Beijing’s push to increase surveillance of apps came into sharper focus.
Another notice requiring mobile apps to finish filing by the end of March was published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in August of this year.
Reuters reported earlier this month that app stores run by businesses like Tencent and Huawei have started requiring that apps on their app stores abide by the new regulations.
Apple has not specified how its Chinese app store will adhere to Beijing’s new regulations. According to experts, if Apple complies, tens of thousands of apps may be withdrawn from Apple’s App Store in China.