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China tightens grip on app stores

There's no Google Play Store in China, but there are plenty of imitators. And now, they all have to register with the government.

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China is the world's biggest tech market and may also be the most regulated. The country will be tightening its grip on industry from Monday, when app stores will be required to officially register with the government.

Around 75 percent of the 550 million smartphones used in China run Android, but the Google Play Store is banned in the country. There are many companies, like Baidu and Tencent, that have built app stores to fill that gap. Now, they'll all be officially regulated, the Cyberspace Administration of China said Friday.

The Cyberspace Administration's notice asserted that app stores aren't managed properly and that this new measure will both make the stores safer and more profitable.

The Chinese government, which works hard to control all aspects of the tech and internet worlds inside its borders, has always had a hand in how app stores are managed in the country. Apple earlier this month was made to pull the New York Times app from its store and last year had to shutter its iTunes Movies and iBooks services.

This follows new regulations for app developers announced in July, when the Cyberspace Administration told app developers they had to keep a record of user activity for 60 days, establish the identity of users with real-name registration, monitor and report banned content, and seek user consent before collecting personal information and location data.

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