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New rules may put up barriers to games on Apple's App Store in China

Developers looking to publish games on Apple's Chinese App Store will reportedly face a tougher time starting July 1, when all new mobile games must be pre-approved by the Chinese government.

Every such title, foreign or domestic, will have to be vetted by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), Tech in Asia noted. While independent developers may be able to handle the approval process on their own, it's estimated that those wanting or needing help with the process may end up paying third-party firms between $2,000 and $5,000.

Any game already on sale must have an application for SAPPRFT approval submitted by Oct. 1.

The rules allow domestic developers to go through a simplified process as long as they submit their formal application at least 20 business days in advance, and their games are casual titles with little to no storyline, and moreover don't contain any politically or socially sensitive elements. Approval can — ideally — be granted within an 18-day time span.

Games that fall outside of this criteria, including all foreign titles, don't have a defined timetable for approval.

The rules will likely delay the arrival of many apps on the iOS App Store, where they already have to pass an official Apple screening process. The company has been working to drastically speed up app reviews, however.