Apple's iTunes Movies, iBooks Store go dark in China 6 months after launch

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 2016
Chinese consumers looking to buy a movie or e-book through Apple's iTunes services found themselves out of luck on Friday, as both stores went offline without explanation.


Source: Weibo


According to multiple accounts on popular microblogging service Sina Weibo, Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks Store are inaccessible on both mobile and desktop devices, and have been down for hours. Apple's regional system status webpage states all services are functioning properly, though a brief iCloud outage occurred earlier in the day, roughly coinciding with the first movies and iBooks complaints.

AppleInsider has received reports claiming Apple pulled the content stores due to a pending government investigation into its business practices, but those assertions have not been verified.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The downtime comes six months after Apple opened the doors to its movie and e-book storefronts in China last September, a major launch that also included the activation of Apple Music services. The music streaming product remains in operation as of this writing.

With a booming middle class, China has quickly become Apple's most important growth market, but the country's regulations have at times proven difficult to navigate. For example, it was discovered last year that Apple was actively disabling its iOS News app for users living in mainland China, a move some believed to be in adherence of strict censorship policies. SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue later denied those claims.

"We know how to work in China. We've got app stores. We have got our retail stores there. We launched Apple Music in China. We have a great working relationship in China," Cue said in November.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Spend all day trying to restore a backup from iCloud, very very slow... Then an error message saying they could not restore everything form iCloud. Decide to do a restore on iTunes, downloading the iOS took a few hour... painfully slow. Maybe the problem in China had some impact here in some way ?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Wasnt that pretty obious? Apple would rather hide the News-App or inform the user with a dialog, but not letting them run into a error dialog. Same for the current "downtime". It is more likely that ISPs are blocking.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,524member
    Does anything associated with Apple ever occur, at any level and no matter how remote, without an immediate escalation to some sort of grand conspiracy theory?  
    cintoslkruppgenovellecalibadmonk
  • Reply 4 of 11
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Apple shoud up-sticks and move manufacturing to India.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,593member
    cnocbui said:
    Apple shoud up-sticks and move manufacturing to India.
    Yes, move to the country that has absolutely no infrastructure to support the supply and manufacturing of electronic devices. That makes sense.
    realjustinlong
  • Reply 6 of 11
    dewme said:
    Does anything associated with Apple ever occur, at any level and no matter how remote, without an immediate escalation to some sort of grand conspiracy theory?  
    Well, the ChiComs are involved, so...
  • Reply 7 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,995member
    dewme said:
    Does anything associated with Apple ever occur, at any level and no matter how remote, without an immediate escalation to some sort of grand conspiracy theory?  
    Apple centric websites are the drama queens of the Internet.
    badmonk
  • Reply 8 of 11
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    mike1 said:
    cnocbui said:
    Apple shoud up-sticks and move manufacturing to India.
    Yes, move to the country that has absolutely no infrastructure to support the supply and manufacturing of electronic devices. That makes sense.
    Did you know Samsung, Nokia (used to) and some home-grown companies manufacture mobile phones there quite successfully?
  • Reply 9 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,178member
    cnocbui said:
    mike1 said:
    Yes, move to the country that has absolutely no infrastructure to support the supply and manufacturing of electronic devices. That makes sense.
    Did you know Samsung, Nokia (used to) and some home-grown companies manufacture mobile phones there quite successfully?

    But Samsung and I believe also Nokia, build and operate their own manufacturing and assembly plants. Samsung products are made by Samsung and Nokia phones are made by Nokia. On the other hand, Apple rely on Foxconn to manufacture most of their products. So Apple just can't decide to build their products in India, like Samsung and Nokia can. Foxconn must already have plants in India before Apple can decide to build their products there. 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 10 of 11
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    davidw said:
    cnocbui said:
    Did you know Samsung, Nokia (used to) and some home-grown companies manufacture mobile phones there quite successfully?

    But Samsung and I believe also Nokia, build and operate their own manufacturing and assembly plants. Samsung products are made by Samsung and Nokia phones are made by Nokia. On the other hand, Apple rely on Foxconn to manufacture most of their products. So Apple just can't decide to build their products in India, like Samsung and Nokia can. Foxconn must already have plants in India before Apple can decide to build their products there. 
    Apple could just wave a large wad of cash at an existing India based manufacturer to fund facility expansion so they could do for them what Foxconn do.  I am sure Samsung would be more than happy to build a mega factory and make iPhones for Apple, just as they are happy to put billions into expanding their OLED manufacturing capacity to supply Apple.  Probably impractical, but I wouldn't mind seeing Apple fund some factories in Nepal.  India needs to do something drastic about the propensity of it's tax wallahs and courts to demonstrate to big foreign entities how mighty and important they are.  They would be a big worry to me if I were looking to invest there.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    djmikeodjmikeo Posts: 179member
    It would be a bad move to manufacture in India as Apple would once again have to deal with company employees that are over-worked and underpaid. This would then lead them to jump out of the windows of company provided housing so they could be reincarnated as Foxconn employees in China.
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