Apple has previously removed news apps from its China app store, but none as high-profile as the New York Times.
Super Mario Run was downloaded over more than 40 million times according to Apple's press release.
Since the App Store launched in 2008 developers have earned US$60 billion, which is unbelievable when you consider one year alone could make up 30% of the entire revenue over time.
"Meanwhile, an Apple spokesman stated that they were informed that the app was in violation of local regulations" but was not told exactly what the violations were.
Meanwhile, the popular monster-catching game Pokémon Go, which was released in mid-2016, was the most downloaded app past year, the Cupertino company said. Pokémon Go took the top spot.
Despite this promise to remove the unwanted apps, Apple said Thursday that the App Store still saw a more than 20 per cent increase to its catalogue in 2016, bringing the total now up to 2.2 million apps. Henceforth, it was also the most downloaded app on the App Store on New Year's Day and Christmas.
Murphy later issued a statement saying the request from the Chinese government to remove their apps was just a part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China accessing independent news coverage by the "New York Times" in the country.
New Year's Day 2017 was the single biggest day on the App Store. The growth was driven by Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run and other titles. Apple's protestations that it's merely complying with Chinese law ring hollow when, just past year, it openly challenged a USA court order to assist a terrorism investigation and unlock the iPhone of a dead ISIS terrorist. In the eight years since the App Store launched, developers have earned over $60 billion with the App Store now home to over 2.2 million apps. The company attributed a portion of this uptick to in-app subscriptions, which now span more than 20,000 apps, including Netflix, HBO Now, and MLB.com At Bat. Holiday spend was also at record levels, Apple said, with purchases from the App Store topping $3 billion (approximately Rs. 20,381 crores) in December.