New rules introduced by the Chinese government are going to increase the monitoring of the country's citizens, by forcing mobile app stores to keep track of their users. Apple and other app store owners are ordered by new rules issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China to keep records of user activity for a period of time, as well as establish the identity of both the users and the app developers, in order to crack down on the viewing and distribution of banned content.
the new rules will require app stores to acquire the identity of users accessing its apps, and to keep hold of records of that user's activities for a sixty-day period. App stores and providers must also request the user's permission before any personal information is collected, including location data and contact lists. Content will also be actively monitored by the stores and app providers, with banned content reported to the authorities. Developers must also be verified by the app stores, to confirm their legitimacy before apps can be sold.
The extra regulations are being viewed as another attempt by the government, led by President Xi Jinping, to limit the dissemination of dissenting opinion, as well as controlling the types of content users will be able to see. Apple already has experienced what the government can do to restrict content, with the shutdown
of both the Chinese iTunes Movies and iBooks stores in April. CEO Tim Cook previously took steps to try and appease
the Chinese government, visiting the country and speaking to officials to try and put them at ease over this and other regional issues.