Apple reportedly asked for-pay game developers in China to prove they have government approval for their applications. This is requirement under Chinese law.
The iPhone maker didn’t say what would happen to games that don’t have approval.
Chinese games need government approval
According to AppInChina, Apple sent companies with a developer account in China a note stating:
“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.”
There’s no mention of consequences for games that don’t have an approval number. But Apple mades it clear that while it doesn’t always agree with the decisions of the Chinese government, especially on restrictions to the free flow of information, Apple will conform to the law.
The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) was created in 2018. Among other rules, it won’t sign off on games with graphic depictions of blood or profanity.
Limiting screen time
According to China’s education ministry, it is GAPP’s role to “implement controls on the total number of online video games, control the number of new video games operated online, explore an age-appropriate reminder system in line with China’s national conditions, and take measures to limit the amount of time minors [spend on games].”
The agency takes limiting screen time seriously with the goal of reducing growing levels of near-sightedness in children. In November, it banned anyone user the age of 18 from playing games between 10 am and 8 am. And children can play at most 90 minutes on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends and holidays, according to the BBC.
It’s likely games that get approved in China will need to be able to enforce these rules on underage players.