Apple is informing Chinese developers that sell paid games or games with in-app purchases to provide it with proof that their game has been approved by the Chinese government. The company is asking the developers for an approval number in its email.
Apple has given game developers until June 30, 2020 to submit this number. It does not mention what will happen to the games if the developer fails to provide the number. In all likelihood though, the company will remove the listing of the game from the App Store in Mainland China until it receives the required information. Game developers who sell free games with ads do not have to seek any approval from the Chinese government.
Below is Apple’s mail to Chinese developers:
Chinese law requires games to secure an approval number from the General Administration of Press and Publication of China. Accordingly, please provide this number to us by June 30, 2020 for any paid games or games offering in-app purchases that you intend to distribute in China mainland. You can enter your game’s approval number and date below. To learn more, view the full text of the regulation. If you have questions, contact us.
The move could turn out to be expensive for independent foreign app developers. This is because the rules state that only Chinese companies or citizens can get the copyright for games approved. This leaves independent foreign developers selling games in the Chinese App Store out in the dark. They will be forced to partner with Chinese distributors or stop listing their game in the Chinese App Store.
A regulation passed by the Chinese government in 2016 requires games to be approved by the General Administration of Press and Publication of China (GAPP). The latter checks the games for profanity, violence, poker, and copycat titles. These games must also have anti-addiction systems ensuring that children cannot spend more than the time limit specified by the Chinese government on them. This limit includes 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays.[Via Abacus]