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Apple removes thousands of game apps from China store: research firm

SHANGHAI Apple Inc removed 29,800 apps from its Chinese app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to data from research firm Qimai.

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year Apple gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases.

China’s Android app stores have long complied with those regulations. It is not clear why Apple is enforcing them strictly this year.

The smartphone maker removed more than 2,500 titles from its app store over the first week of July. Games affected by the sweep included titles from Zynga and Supercell, research firm SensorTower reported at the time.

The Chinese government has long sought to enforce stricter regulations on its gaming industry to remove sensitive content.

The approval process for games looking to enable in-app purchases is long and complicated, hurting all but the largest game developers, industry insiders say.

“This affects small- and mid-sized developers’ incomes the most, but due to the difficulties of acquiring a business licence, it’s devastating to the whole iOS game industry in China,” said Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a firm that helps overseas companies distribute their apps.

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(This story corrects the spelling of name in paragraph 9)

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Categories
Tech

Apple removes thousands of game apps from China store – research firm

SHANGHAI Apple Inc removed 29,800 apps from its Chinese app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to data from research firm Qimai.

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year Apple gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases.

China’s Android app stores have long complied with those regulations. It is not clear why Apple is enforcing them strictly this year.

The smartphone maker removed more than 2,500 titles from its app store over the first week of July. Games affected by the sweep included titles from Zynga and Supercell, research firm SensorTower reported at the time. The Chinese government has long sought to enforce stricter regulations on its gaming industry to remove sensitive content. The approval process for games looking to enable in-app purchases is long and complicated, hurting all but the largest game developers, industry insiders say.

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“This affects small- and mid-sized developers’ incomes the most, but due to the difficulties of acquiring a business licence, it’s devastating to the whole iOS game industry in China,” said Todd Kuhn, marketing manager for AppIn China, a firm that helps overseas companies distribute their apps.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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Categories
Tech

Under Pressure from Beijing, Apple Removes 4,500 Games From Its China App Store in Just 2 Days

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Image: Reuters)

New regulations require game developers to gain approval from the Chinese regulators before uploading their apps in China’s Apple App Store.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: July 6, 2020, 10:41 AM IST

Apple has removed at least 4,500 games from China’s App Store under the pressure from the Chinese government to comply with its Internet policies. More than 3,000 games were removed from Apple’s China App Store in just two days last week, which is one of the biggest game purges on Apple’s App Store ever, reports TechNode. New regulations require game developers to gain approval from the Chinese regulators before uploading their apps in China’s Apple App store. “We are seeing unprecedented numbers of games dropping off the Apple App Store China daily since Apple implemented this new policy on July 1.

“Sadly, because China only approves about 1,500 game licenses a year, and the process itself takes six to 12 months, most of these apps will be waiting a long time before they are allowed back on the store,” Todd Kuhns, marketing manager at AppInChina, was quoted as saying. Specifically, 1,571 apps were removed on July 1, 1,805 on July 2, and 1,276 on July 3. It is estimated that over 20,000 apps could be affected in total owing to new China restrictions.

China is Apple’s biggest App Store market, with sales of $16.4 billion a year, according to data from Sensor Tower. In the US, the figures are $15.4 billion a year. Apple currently hosts roughly 60,000 games in China that are paid for or have in-app purchases. According to market research firm Newzoo, iOS may generate 53 per cent of total mobile game revenue in China which is around $13 billion. The App Store generates more revenue in China than it does in any other country, with the majority of it coming from gaming.


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Tech

Twitter Removes Image Tweet by Trump over Copyright Complaint

File photo of US President, Donald Trump.

File photo of US President, Donald Trump.

News website Axios reported that the tweet was removed after a copyright complaint from the New York Times, which owns the rights to the photo.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: July 2, 2020, 7:17 AM IST

Twitter Inc has taken down an image tweet by the US President Donald Trump on June 30, in response to a report from a copyright holder.

Twitter now displays the message “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder,” in place of the tweet.

News website Axios reported that the tweet was removed after a copyright complaint from the New York Times, which owns the rights to the photo.


Categories
Tech

Facebook Removes Trump's Political Ad Campaign For Violating Policies

In a first direct action against US President Donald Trump, Facebook on Friday removed a Trump campaign ad featuring a symbol used by Nazis for political dissenters, saying the ad violated its policies. The ad with an upside-down red triangle symbol was posted under accounts for Donald Trump, VP Mike Pence and the Trump Campaign, reports Axios.

“Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying. This is the first action against Trump campaign by Facebook in recent times. The social network is facing criticism for its inaction over Trump posts that glorified violence in the aftermath of the death of African-American George Floyd. Facebook took down the ad that went after antifa and leftist groups with a prominent display of an inverted red triangle in a black outline.

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement: “The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa. We would note that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same, so it’s curious that they would target only this ad.” Several former and existing Facebook employees wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this month, criticizing his inaction over controversial posts from Trump on glorifying violence and calling him to start fact-checking world leaders and labelling harmful posts.

While Twitter put out a “public interest notice” on Trump tweet for violating the platform’s policies about glorifying violence, Facebook refused to take action when the tweet was cross-posted to its platform.


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Tech

TikTok Rating Jumps to 4.4 Stars on Play Store as Google Removes Negative Feedback

TikTok

TikTok

According to a Google spokesperson, the company can take corrective actions to remove inappropriate ratings and comments when it considers incidents of spam abuse.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 29, 2020, 4:24 PM IST

TikTok has been making headlines yet again but for all the wrong reasons. A couple of weeks back the platform faced backlash due to a controversial video posted by popular TikTok user Faizal Siddiqui. While the video was removed and the user account banned, hashtags including #IndiansAgainstTikTok were surfacing all over social media. This had also led to a massive drop in the app’s rating on the Google Play store going as low as 1.2 stars.

However, it seems that Google is already working on changing that. TikTok is now rated at 4.4 stars which seems to be a result of Google removing millions of negative ratings and reviews. Google has taken down nearly 80 lakh one-star ratings against TikTok from the Play store.

The company has followed one of its guidelines specified in the comment posting policy of Google Play, where users aren’t allowed to manipulate the ratings of an app. Google doesn’t allow users to post similar reviews from different accounts nor does it allow political commentary to be used to justify ratings or give reviews.

According to a Google spokesperson, the company can take corrective actions to remove inappropriate ratings and comments when it considers incidents of spam abuse. Play Store ratings enable users to provide helpful feedback about their experience with apps and content, for the benefit of others to make informed decisions.




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Tech

Facebook Bug Removes Legitimate Coronavirus Posts, News

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Image for Representation
(Reuters)

Facebook earlier said that coronavirus-related searches on its platform would be greeted with an automatic pop-up featuring information from the WHO.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: March 18, 2020, 1:12 PM IST
  • Edited by: Chhavianshika Singh

A massive bug in Facebook has removed several legitimate posts, news and comments about new coronavirus from some leading media outlets like USA Today, Buzzfeed and Medium. Aimed at curtailing the spread of fake and mischievous health information around COVID-19, Facebook’s News Feed spam filter blocked URLs of legitimate websites.

“It looks like an anti-spam rule at FB is going haywire. Facebook sent home content moderators yesterday, who generally can’t WFH (work from home) due to privacy commitments the company has made. We might be seeing the start of the ML going nuts with less human oversight,” tweeted former chief security officer at Facebook.

Guy Rosen, Vice President, Product Management at Facebook replied: “We’re on this – this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We’re in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back”. Later, he said Facebook has “restored all the posts that were incorrectly removed, which included posts on all topics – not just those related to COVID-19”. According to the company, this was an issue with an automated system that removes links to abusive websites, “but incorrectly removed a lot of other posts too”.

A Twitter user posted: “It’s not just news articles. A community flier asking for emergency donations of food to the needy in our community was blocked. A friend in Canada had posts from Royal Canadian Mounted Police blocked. It’s very widespread”.

Top tech giants Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube have come together to help fight the fake news and misinformation related to COVID-19 on their platforms. Facebook and Instagram have already announced to ban ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks on their platforms to stop people from exploiting the coronavirus emergency.

Facebook said that coronavirus-related searches on its platform would be greeted with an automatic pop-up featuring information from the WHO.

Categories
Tech

Supreme Court Removes Ban on Cryptocurrency Transactions in India

India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed banks to handle cryptocurrency transactions from exchanges and traders, overturning a ban on such dealings by the central bank that had come as a major blow to the thriving industry. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had ordered financial institutions to break off all ties with individuals or businesses dealing in virtual currency such as Bitcoin within three months, in April 2018. The ban led to plummeting trade volumes and exchanges shutting their businesses.

“Investments had stopped and start-ups were staying away from starting business in the crypto and blockchain space in India which will change now that the Supreme Court has said that the RBI circular was unconstitutional,” said Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange.

However, the industry still faces hurdles as a government panel, appointed to look into the matter, has recommended that India ought to ban all private cryptocurrencies. In July, the panel also recommended a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies. The government though is yet to act on these recommendations and is yet to finalise regulations around cryptocurrencies. On several occasions, the government along with the central bank, had cautioned the public about the risks of cryptocurrencies. If the government follows the panel’s recommendations, it could signal the end of the road for these digital currencies in India.

“There continues to be an overarching fear that the government may come out with a law which may be unfavorable but for now this is a good move as the exchanges can go back to crypto-to-fiat trade which had stopped,” said Anirudh Rastogi, Founder at Ikigai Law, a firm that represented crypto exchanges in the lawsuit. Governments around the world have been looking into ways to regulate cryptocurrencies and no major economy has taken the drastic step of placing a blanket ban on owning digital currencies, even though concerns have been raised on the misuse of consumer data and its likely impact on the financial system.

The need for regulations surrounding digital currencies has also gained momentum after Facebook Inc announced plans to launch its cryptocurrency, Libra. Several central banks around the world are also considering issuing their own digital currencies in the next few years, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in a report in January this year. India’s government-appointed committee had also recommended considering the launch of an officially-backed digital currency for use in the country which can function like bank notes and be regulated by the central bank. Eyes will now be on the RBI to see if they come up with new regulations surrounding digital currencies that can address regulatory concerns as well as aid growth in the ecosystem, said L Viswanathan, Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, a law firm. “This (ruling) might also catalyse the potential for the use of blockchain in diverse areas,” Viswanathan added.