Thursday, August 10, 2023

China to Require Apps to Register With Government

Josh Ye:

China will require all mobile app providers in the country to file business details with the government, its information ministry said, marking Beijing's latest effort to keep the industry on a tight leash.


You Yunting, a lawyer with Shanghai-based DeBund Law Offices,said the order is effectively requiring approvals from the ministry. The new rule is primarily aimed at combating online fraud but it will impact on all apps in China, he said.


Bishop said that in order to comply with the new rules, app developers now must either have a company in China or work with a local publisher.

Via Craig Hockenberry:

This will basically put an end to indie apps on the Chinese App Store.

We’re too small too work with a local publisher, much less open an office.

Hopefully Apple figures out a way to establish themselves as a publisher (not just a distributor).

If you are forced to remove a subscription for a product in China, you could be on the hook for pro-rated refunds (even though the country may not require them, it’s a general Apple policy).


Update (2023-08-22): Christopher Atlan:

Seems like Amazon is out as well.

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I don't think it's a good idea for a platform owner to also be a publisher on its own platform. I generally don't think a solution to a platform holders sloppy handling of their monopoly is to extend their powers.

If Apple used some of the billions they're making from the app tax to combat fraud and malware then maybe they wouldn't find themselves in this situation.

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