Apple's new app rules tighten grip on China's tipping

Yingke users can buy expensive virtual goods and send them to content creators who cash out a portion of the gift’s cost. Image via A16Z

It's basically a Flappy Bird clone that you control with your voice, which sounds utterly very bad, so maybe Apple's decision to reject it was just as much about quality as it was about content. It could foster various communities of virtual content producers like those in China.

When Lin heard Cook describe the growth in app revenue at the WWDC, he chose to look at what apps were the top grossing on the store.

Analysts say that by making tipping an "in-app purchase", Apple is aiming to make more money out of Chinese users.

This is pretty stupid, because we spent a ton of hours trying to get this to work on iOS and spent $99 on the developer license, and now we can't even post it to the App Store. It's baffling that Apple approved apps like this in the first place - perhaps it's a side effect of faster app review times.

At WWDC, Apple reported that they've paid out $70 billion to developers, with 30% of that ($21 billion!) in the past year. As long as they are okay with Apple taking 30%. The modifications to the App Store was first noticed by 9to5Mac.

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To get to know these apps in question, he read all the description down to the bottom where the fine print was revealed. According to marketing data firm Sensor Tower, the bogus app delivers more or less US$80,000 each month in revenue.

The VPN app offers to "auto scan duplicated contacts, merge or delete", as well as a full scan which will "scan for dupplicate (sic) name, phone, email, no name, no phone, no email". Previously, adopting the new App Store rating API was optional, but Apple is now fulfilling its earlier pledge to eventually make it mandatory. To earn that amount the app would only need around 200 subscribers.

And perhaps more importantly, their subscription fees start from $4.54 per month; around 1/20 of the fee for this scam app on the US App Store. "It's downright mind boggling that this horrendous "Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN" app made it all the way into the top 10 without getting flagged", he added. Apple introduced at last year's WWDC as way to cut through the 2 million or so apps on the store. Unfortunately, Apple has no filter to sift through search ads as of now. It's one of the most egregious things an app developer can do, but Apple now plans massively restrain the review prompt system to help protect users.

CSO Online has asked Apple for comment and will update the story if it receives a response.

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