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Genshin Impact maker tried to dodge App Store fees — twice

The App Store is a powerful digital ecosystem.

Despite being Apple's poster child for iPhone gaming, the developer behind "Genshin Impact" twice tried to get around paying the App Store's 30% fee.

"Genshin Impact" has previously won an Apple Design Award, and it's seen Tim Cook personally show up to its offices to meet the developers. Most recently, "Genshin Impact" was briefly shown on screen during Apple's iPhone 15 launch.

However, according to New York-based The China Project, the game developer miHoYo has twice tried to circumvent the App Store's in-app payment system since August 2023.

The first time, as spotted by 9to5mac, it was via a miHoYo community app. Members get exclusive promotions through this app, and reportedly, customer service staff were trained to direct users to buy directly from the firm's website.

Apple removed this community app on August 22, 2023. It was back four days later, but without this option to pay on the website.

And then on August 30, 2023, there was a new mini-program in Alipay. It offered the same option of paying by the firm's website, or rather it did, until Apple blocked it for iPhone users on September 11.

Neither Apple nor "Genshin Impact" developer miHoYo have commented.