China is unarguably the biggest tech market in the world but it has no Google Play store. In its absence, few local app stores compensate to the Android users in the country will now have to register with the government to continue operating.
Reportedly, China currently has 79% Android users who depend on these local app stores in order to gain access to apps otherwise available on Google Play store, which is banned in the country.
Companies like Baidu and Tencent, who’ve built their app stores among others, will be subjected to government regulations.
All these local app stores will now have to register with the government Monday onwards as they sought to regulate the in a bid to restore ‘basic management’ into the industry of app stores.
The Cyberspace Administration of China put up a notice stating that these app stores aren’t managed properly and with proper regulations in place, they will be able to work more efficiently as well as be a profitable enterprise.
Earlier Regulations Laid Down by Government
This isn’t the first time the government is issuing regulations for the app market in China.
In 2016, the Cyberspace Administration had implemented rules for app stores and developers in the country which needed them to record user activity for 60 days, accept only real-name user registrations, content had to be monitored and banned content to be reported.
In addition to that, the legitimacy of app developers also had to be established. In a bid to boost user privacy, the Cyberspace Administration also noted that the developers also need to seek permission from users to be able to collect information as well as location data.
Intervening the app store market isn’t also a first by the Chinese government. Earlier this month, Apple was made to remove the New York Times app from its app store for iOS devices.
Before that, Apple was made to take down their iTunes Movie and iBook service from the Chinese market.
This might just be the beginning of a world in tech, more specifically in the smartphone ecosphere, where government intervention might be an added hindrance to public dialogue and the key to a future with government induced censorship laws.