A recent report has detailed a bold and surprising move by one of today’s biggest tech companies. Apple is reported to have wiped out over 50,000 apps from its App Store over the course of a few weeks, and the company seems to be specifically focusing on Chinese apps. On the first week alone, the California-based company already removed 22,000 applications.
That number, according to experts, is just way too high for Apple’s regular clean-up, predicting that this was not just a routine move. Critics have also gone as far as suggesting that the move was done in the company’s effort to control the Chinese app market on its digital platform.
The majority of the removed Chinese apps were reported to be gaming apps, which consisted around 33 percent of the 58,000 affected programs. Some of these apps are believed to be spam and copycat programs that experts deemed redundant and unnecessary in the company’s digital distribution platform. It seems that China, which has had its fair share of controversy on intellectual property rights issues, has faced the same issues with its apps on the App Store.
In a similar move, Apple also claimed earlier this month that it had removed several obsolete applications, particularly those with a 32-bit encryption, from its database. This comes with Apple’s latest announcement at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference that it would stop supporting 32-bit applications with its High Sierra and iOS 11. At the conference, the tech giant gave developers of existing App Store programs a chance to upgrade their 32-bit apps to 64-bit until June of next year. The company would also stop accepting 32-bit apps come January 2018.
These moves by Apple, from a technological standpoint, make plenty of sense. Since October of last year, the company had already been expressing its intention of removing outdated and problematic apps from its system. Certainly, removing 58,000 apps in just two weeks is very drastic, but it could also help improve the overall quality of the App Store.
Plus, it could also pave the way for more and better apps to emerge. On the other hand, it cannot also be denied that Chinese users and developers would definitely have mixed feelings about their apps being targeted. Some even believe that this mass removal of Chinese apps was a retaliation for Apple’s clash with Tencent earlier on.
Chinese tech giant Tencent, the developer of the popular app WeChat, has been involved in a dispute with Apple. The reason behind this is WeChat’s tipping feature that allows users to send money to other users by liking their posts. This feature, according to the American tech company, is considered to be an in-app purchase. This means that Apple feels entitled to get a 30 percent cut from the WeChat’s tipping feature. As expected, the Chinese company fired back. After months of negotiations, the WeChat developer finally announced its decision to abolish its tipping feature on iPhones. The results of this dispute will certainly affect Apple’s rankings in China since almost everyone in China uses WeChat.
With these events happening, who knows what the future holds when it comes to Chinese-American relations. For the longest time, the two countries have had a complicated relationship, especially in terms of business. However, China-US camaraderie is not as impossible as some people may think. If there’s anything history can tell us, it’s that things weren’t always the way they are now. In fact, just over 60 years ago, China and the US were united against a common enemy in World War II when the Nanjing Massacre occurred.
The two countries shared a united front against Japan who repeatedly downplayed the historical event’s brutal treatment of Chinese and American soldiers and civilians. This just goes to show that over time and for various reasons, China-US relations will always have its ups and downs.