Apple has removed over 46,000 apps from its App Store in China in the span of a single day out of which a whopping 39,000 were game apps.
The crackdown targeted paid apps or apps that offer in-app purchases from developers who have not obtained the required licences from Chinese authorities.
The instantaneous elimination comes amidst a crackdown by Chinese authorities on unlicensed games.
During the sweep process, the renowned company Ubisoft’s title Assassin’s Creed Identity and the NBA 2k20 also wiped out from the store, as per research firm Qimai.
Qimai also said only 74 of the Apple store’s top 1,500 paying games survived from elimination.
Initially, Apple gave game developers a deadline at the end of June to apply for a licence number provided by the government that allows users to make in-app purchases in the world’s largest game market.
However, the deadline was later extended by Apple to December 31.
The latest removal marks the largest number of apps ever removed from the Apple Store in a single day, beating the last 26,000 apps removed from the App Store in China back in August.
Meanwhile, China’s Android app stores have long fulfilled with license regulations. Why Apple is applying them more strongly this year is not clear.
As Apple continues to close ambiguities to fall in line with China’s content regulators, analysts said the move was no surprise and would not directly impact Apple’s bottom line as much as previous removals.
AppInChina, a firm that assists international companies in order to distribute their applications, the Marketing Manager of AppInChina Todd Kuhns stated that this substantial change to only allowing paying games that have a game license, combined with China’s incredibly low number of foreign games licenses approved this year, is likely to lead more game developers to turn to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions.