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As reported on Youxixinzhi on July 8, Apple China has sent an email to all developers with a game on the platform that it will begin mass delisting all paid games and games containing IAP if they have not provided a valid ISBN.

Regardless of how big the game is in the country, Apple will make no exception, even for games that are among China’s most popular. 

According to a report by GameLook on July 13, 28 of the top 50 paid games on China’s App Store were without a valid ISBN.

As it stands today

According to data gathered by Qimai, 14,470 games have been delisted since July 1. If we apply the same logic used on the top 50 games, it is possible that more than half of the games currently on the China App Store’s shelves will be delisted. 

As reported by GameLook, as of March 31 this year, the number of domestic online game version numbers—or ISBNs—issued was 309, and the number of foreign game licenses stood at 27, for a total of 336. 

If we assume China will issue 350 game version numbers per quarter, there may be a total of 1400 granted in 2020. This would be a reduction from the 1570 issued in 2019, where 185 were granted to international developers. 

The cumulative number of game version numbers released by China this year is 95% less than it was a few years ago. With an already substantial reduction in the number of games on the market, the entire Chinese game industry has been greatly affected.

The developers and publishers who will benefit from the situation are those who have already been able to obtain ISBN licenses for their games or who have begun the process as, likely from tomorrow onward, they will enjoy massively reduced competition.


Those who have not yet geared up to get their ISBN can contact us now at

You can learn more about entering the world’s biggest mobile game market via the China regulations section of our gaming industry media room. We look forward to helping you reach the 600 millions game-hungry players whose options will soon be limited.


About Yodo1

Yodo1 is a game platform company that helps developers better market, manage, and monetize their games. Our AI-powered tools and global expertise in areas such as mobile advertising, community management, and digital IP licensing enable partners to increase playtime, revenue, and retention. Our vision is to open the world of gaming success to anyone with the talent to develop. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

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