Apple has removed more than a hundred apps offering ChatGPT-like services from its China store, as a regulation on generative artificial intelligence (AI) is set to take effect in the country in two weeks, according to The South China Morning Post.
The apps were all pulled off the shelves from China’s iOS app store on Tuesday, according to data on Chinese mobile app analytics platform Qimai. Spark, an app developed by iFlyTek that provides ChatGPT-style services, was among the removed apps even though it had a high-profile launch on June 29.
Among the other apps pulled was the popular ChatGAi Plus, which provides chatbot, AI translation and writing services and was ranked 9th on the China iOS app store’s paid app chart before being removed on Tuesday afternoon, Qimai records show.
The South China Morning Post says that in a notification to developers, Apple said that it had removed the apps “because they include content that is illegal in China,” citing tighter regulations on deep synthesis technologies and generative AI.
This latest move continues Apple’s struggle with the Chinese government. In June, it was announced that the country is planning to regulate file-sharing among nearby mobile devices for “national security” reasons, in a move expected to impact the use of such communication apps, such as Apple’s AirDrop.
According to a draft released by China’s top Internet watchdog, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the new rules aim to limit the use of any “file transfer services that rely on Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and other information technologies to form networks instantly and communicate to other devices over a short-range.”