Local Chinese app stores are required to register with the government to thwart rampant proliferation of Android malware and the dissemination of false information, according to the Cyberspace Administration of China.
As Google Play is officially banned in China, all third-party app stores require government vetting starting January 16 in an alleged new baseline for quality and mobile security. Previous legislation also states that app developers are required to not only keep records of user activity spanning back 60 days, but also establish that their identities are real and report any banned content accessed through their applications by users.
“To further promote the healthy and orderly development of the Internet application store industry, regulate the mobile Internet application (APP) information service, according to ‘mobile Internet application information service management regulations,’ the National Internet Information Office recently issued ‘on the Internet application store filing Notice,’ requiring the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities Internet Information Office on January 16, the official launch of the Internet application store filing,,” according to the Cyberspace Administration of China.
These actions are intended to establish the legitimacy of app developers, marketplaces and distributed applications, and allegedly reduce the number of malicious applications distributed with little to no security vetting. The Android operating system accounts for 75 percent of the Chinese mobile market.
“The National Network Information Office will strengthen the supervision and inspection of the record, grasp the basic situation of the application store and industry base, timely organization to provide unified query service, for the whole society to open the record application store information,” reads the official statement from the Cyberspace Administration of China.
While it’s unclear what will happen to app stores that don’t apply for registration, it’s likely that users will still be presented with the option of sideloading applications from app stores not vetted by the Chinese government.