The App Store is a platform for developers to sell their apps and is important for Apple because it is a key feature for customers when they buy one of its devices such as an iPhone or iPad. In 2016 the option became available to all 25 categories on the App Store, including game makers. Apple normally splits app revenue 70-30 with developers, keeping 30% of the purchase price for itself.
But the fact that the move was made the same day that a New York Times reporter contacted Apple about a potentially embarrassing story for the Cupertino, Calif., company - as well as the fact that other worldwide news apps were unaffected - has raised doubts about the precise motives behind the action. GreatFire also suggested that Apple's compliance was because of a Times exposé that was in the pipeline on Chinese subsidies to Foxconn, the company that runs the factory in China where Apple's iPhones are built.
Developers who sell their apps through Apple earned a record $20bn in 2016, up 40% on the previous year.
Users can subscribe to services from more than 20,000 apps.
At the same time the world's number two economy is Apple's second-biggest market, and a key part of its supply chain, where many of its products are manufactured. Leaderboard follows top stocks from their work on forming bases, through their breakouts, to their post-breakout action, up to the point where they start topping.
When it comes to specific apps, Pokémon Go was - not at all surprisingly - the most downloaded app of the year, while Super Mario Run was the most downloaded app on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
On Thursday, Apple said 2016 was a good year for App Store developers as the company paid out more than US$20 billion in sales royalties - a more than 40 per cent increase from the year before.
It was announced that December was the bestselling month of the App Store, not just in 2016, but since 2008 when the App Store was introduced.
Apple has removed the New York Times from its China app store, the tech giant said, after authorities told the company the app breached regulations. In the current year, UBS estimated 18% growth to $6.76 billion.
Apple insisted in a statement it had to remove the app.