The software, called Kingsoft Install Essential (translated from "金山装机必备"), has been pulled from the Apple App Store. Designed by Beijing Kingsoft Internet Security Software Co, the app recommends free and other useful apps to users, and has been downloaded over 1 million times before it was removed from the appstore.
A spokesperson from Kingsoft told Sina News the company had been actively in touch with Apple, but only received an e-mail saying the removal was in accordance with its guidelines and advising the company it had the option to file a legal complaint. It did not specify the reasons for removing the app, the spokesperson said.
Last October, Apple added rule 2.25 in its guidelines which specifies: "Apps that display apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected."
AppShopper, a popular iOS app that helps users to find new apps, was removed from Apple's App Store in December under this clause.
Deng Jinwei, developer of LoveApps (translated from "爱Apps")--which is another Chinese app-finding application--said LoveApps has not been removed from the store as the app only delivers news on free apps and does not display other apps. Therefore, it does not violate Apple's rule. "But not all the app-finding applications [in China] have been affected and I do not know which kinds of apps will be immuned... Apple applies close-door operations and people outside will not understand the real reasons," said Deng.
The Sina report cited an anonymous industry insider who said these app-finding applications have "moved Apple's cheese". The source explained that when a shopping mall conducts promotional activities for specific products, it also hopes the consumers will purchase other products once they are enticed to visit the mall. But these app-finding applications gather all useful apps in one place, hence, discouraging consumers from visiting other stores.
Apple doesn't eliminate all app-finding applications but seemingly only the few popular ones, as it will be a deterrent to other developers, according to the industry insider.