China demands local app stores to register with authorities

China is a country considered to have the world’s most advanced internet censorship and surveillance regime. The country might not be following the perfect regime to control the internet but it is good enough as compared to what most political leaders around the world can only dream of. Its so-called great Firewall along with an army of professional trolls and sensors dictates what over a billion people can watch online.

The rapid growth of internet users and social media use has increased the government efforts to control the internet. Recently, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAA) has ordered the app stores to get registered with the government so that they can continue operating legally in the country. From January 16, all app stores will be bound to obey the orders. The aim behind this rule is to protect users from illegal information that is being spread through many apps. It violates user’s rights or contains security threats. With the registration of the app stores, it will become clear that who is in charge of each particular app store. If the app or an app store runs against the law, it will be easy for the government to take action.

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The Chinese app store market is an unusual market as compared to the rest. Just three weeks before, the English and Chinese-language versions were removed by Apple from the New York Times app from its Chinese store. Also the most popular operating system in the Chinese market i.e. Android exists without the Google Play store which is jammed by the great Firewall. Several private third-app stores of various qualities are operating in its place. These are mostly operated by local firms including Tencent, Baido, Xiaomi, Alibaba, and Qihoo 360. Amazon is also existing which launched the Amazon Appstore in China over three years ago,

Because of the several small-sized companies competing with each other along with the large enterprises, it has become extremely difficult for the Chinese Government to keep up with its control over the internet. Considering the simplicity in which applications can be distributed freely of any app store, this registration of app stores does seem like a pointless endeavor.

Via: The Next Web

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