Adding to evolving scrutiny over digital marketplaces, China announced new rules for app developers in the country – to disclose their business information to the state by March 2024.

App developers failing to do will attract punitive actions, warns China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. While the move cited combating malicious apps, it could also be understanding how well China wants to grip this market.

New Chinese Regulations For App Devs

Countries worldwide are tightening their grip on mobile apps and digital marketplaces. While the US and the EU have been probing Google and Apple’s dominance in app stores, China came up with its own set of rules to control the market.

This week, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced new regulations for app developers, asking them to register their business details with the ministry. Though they reasoned this move to combat the fraudulent mobile apps, many see it as China tightening its control over the digital sphere.

International app developers aren’t exempt from these regulations, though, as they, too, need to share their details in compliance. For a long, foreign app developers have enjoyed the privilege of launching their apps on platforms like Tencent without any official paperwork from the Chinese regulators.

But with new changes, they might now have to tie up with any local entity or establish their formal presence in China. The country has noted March 2024 as the grace period, and developers who fail to comply with these regulations may attract punitive measures, warns the China MIIT.

This isn’t the first time China stressed its power in the digital space. In 2020, many unlicensed games were removed from various app platforms and were forced to go on the official path. And now, these regulations will only make them more transparent, although we doubt China’s intention.

Well, Tencent’s WeChat has already supported this regulatory sentiment, announcing that all its mini-apps will align with the new regulations.