China’s technology giants have reportedly begun enforcing new rules governing app publishers.
Mobile app stores operated by companies like Tencent and Xiaomi have begun blocking app publishers from debuting new apps if they haven’t made proper disclosures to the authorities, Reuters reported Monday (Sept. 4).
New rules introduced last month require mobile app publishers to file business details with the government, according to the report.
The regulations are causing worries in the industry that publishing apps will become too difficult, forcing many to be shut down, the report said.
“The Android app stores have confirmed that new apps require the app filings from Friday onwards, and existing apps must have it from March 31 onwards,” Rich Bishop, CEO of app publishing company AppInChina, said in the report. “It forces all global apps on these app stores to either establish a local entity or work with a local partner.”
The report comes a little more than a month after the news that Apple removed more than 100 generative artificial intelligence (AI) apps from its app store in China as the country prepared to unveil new AI regulations.
Apple said in a notification to developers at the time that it pulled the apps “because they include data that is illegal in China.”
China’s regulation of generative AI models, which went into effect Aug. 15, requires companies to promote “healthy content,” “adhere to core socialist values,” and avoid creating content that is false or threatens national security.
In addition, the rules require firms to avoid several forms of discrimination in the design of their algorithms and the selection of training data.
Meanwhile, China also unveiled screen time regulations in August to prevent children from being online too much.
The rules put forth by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) are considered among the world’s toughest restrictions on internet use, barring “non-adult” children from accessing the internet from mobile devices from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The regulations also limit kids between 16 and 18 to two hours of mobile use. And they require platforms to provide lullabies for kids under 13 and educational news and entertainment for children younger than 12.