Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks Store shuttered by Chinese state agency, report confirms

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 2016
Following the mysterious shutdown of two major Apple internet services in China last week, a report on Thursday claims the closure was mandated by a state agency in an apparent attempt to control content distribution.


Source: Weibo


Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television shut down Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks Store last week. AppleInsider was first to report on the development last Thursday.

"We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible," an Apple spokeswoman said.

While officials have yet to comment on the matter, the publication suggests last week's closure is an extension of China's restrictive internet policies. Coincidentally, Chinese President Xi Jinping gathered the country's leading tech players, including Alibaba chairman Jack Ma and Huawei chief Ren Zhengfei, to discuss the dissemination of online content.

"China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good," Xi said, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

The Times notes Chinese tech companies offer services similar to Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks Store, but falls short of claiming the shutdown was meant to stifle competition. It is unclear if the move is a precursor to wider restrictions on Apple services, which include important elements of the iOS platform like Apple Pay.

The shutdown is a blow to Apple, which opened the two services just six months ago as part of a major Chinese product launch that also included Apple Music. China is a key growth market for the iPhone maker, one that company executives including CEO Tim Cook expect to overtake the U.S. in terms of revenue.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Good for them. Wonder why so many choose to move money and family offshore. 
  • Reply 2 of 28
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    AppleInsider said:
    ... "China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good," Xi said ...
    Doubleplusungood.

    Hey.  Xi.  Face the truth, Asian brotha.  Chinese audiences will pay for Western films.
    Here are two ways China could make money on the iTunes Movie store:

    1. Produce big-budget Hollywood films that the Chinese audiences are craving, then allow them to be sold on the iTunes Store.  
    (Example: "Furious 7", produced by China Film Group Corporation).  Everyone gets a cut, including the Chinese producers.

    2. Let American Cultural Imperialism wash over China like a wave of freedom, then force Apple to pay the government a cut of iTunes Store sales.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    levi said:
    Good for them. Wonder why so many choose to move money and family offshore. 
    Because Communism?
    SpamSandwichcornchip
  • Reply 4 of 28
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,590member
    This is the one thing I agree with Trump on. We should be slapping heavy tariffs on these suppressive hypocrites until they truly open up their markets, and stop suppressing the internet and content.


    cnocbui
  • Reply 5 of 28
    China is running roughshod over US tech companies. Where the heck is the Office of the USTR of the US government? I realize that this may sound Trumpian, but why are we taxpayers paying the salaries of these incompetent people?! 

    There was a time when this arm of the US government would attempt to pry open foreign markets on behalf of US technologies and companies, but they've done basically nothing at all during the past decade, except to fight for more market access for US cigarettes and coal abroad. Pathetic. 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 6 of 28
    jdwjdw Posts: 937member
    None of us or Apple should be surprised. This is communist China, we're talking about. You know, the country who could keep North Korea under control but doesn't, only to have even greater leverage against the free world. Not doing business in China is a potential loss of money, but doing business there is not without great risk too. It is an unfortunate reality.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    mubailimubaili Posts: 430member
    Damn it! It is a shame of China government; it is a shame and cowardness of Chinese netizens who just stand by silently day after day when they cannot access Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, it is a shame on Obama govt that also just stands by silently like a sheep without protests or wage a trading war to protect and promote American companies' interest. It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead and just close all the retail stores in China and recall all iPhones in China and leave China for good.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    mubaili said:
    Damn it! It is a shame of China government; it is a shame and cowardness of Chinese netizens who just stand by silently day after day when they cannot access Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, it is a shame on Obama govt that also just stands by silently like a sheep without protests or wage a trading war to protect and promote American companies' interest. It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead and just close all the retail stores in China and recall all iPhones in China and leave China for good.
    We didn't stand by silently, we did protest on internet especially on weibo, a popular social media in China and familiar with twitter. But what happened then? What we post were deleted by officials, some accounts were blocked by officials, and some people even disappear. No one knows what happened to them and whether they are still alive... The Chinese government will do anything to prevent everything against, including kill the citizens. Maybe you didn't know what happened in the morning of June, 4, 1989. The government killed so many students that gathered in Tiananmen Square who only want to request democracy in China by using tanks and rifles. Yeah, tanks.

    We all want to say something, but what if the cost is death...

    I really hope that in the future some country will star a war with China and take over the government, maybe that is only way we Chinese can speak freely on the internet, get access to the real internet and live in a democratic society.
    afrodri
  • Reply 9 of 28
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    freerange said:
    This is the one thing I agree with Trump on. We should be slapping heavy tariffs on these suppressive hypocrites until they truly open up their markets, and stop suppressing the internet and content.


    Right... Give me a fracking break. HE will do no such thing even if being elected was possible; he's a small balled moron with more bluster than intelligence.
    rogifan_newsingularitymacky the mackypscooter63zoetmbmdriftmeyer
  • Reply 10 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    freerange said:
    This is the one thing I agree with Trump on. We should be slapping heavy tariffs on these suppressive hypocrites until they truly open up their markets, and stop suppressing the internet and content.


    That doesn't hurt China. It hurts American consumers and businesses. Slap heavy tarrifs on things made in China and sales of Apple products would crater.
    afrodri
  • Reply 11 of 28
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 478member
    Here in Taiwan, the election of a less-friendly-to-China government has resulted in China restricting the number of travel permits issued to its citizens in an attempt to cripple the tourism industry and general economy. 

    China will definitely fight back against any tariffs or 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 12 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    foggyhill said:
    freerange said:
    This is the one thing I agree with Trump on. We should be slapping heavy tariffs on these suppressive hypocrites until they truly open up their markets, and stop suppressing the internet and content.


    Right... Give me a fracking break. HE will do no such thing even if being elected was possible; he's a small balled moron with more bluster than intelligence.
    No man is perfect but at least he is on the right side of reality here and understands what the government of China is like. By the way I'm pretty sure his balls are bigger than yours.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    tokyojimu said:
    Why is the AI app so bad when it comes to writing and posting comments?

    Hard to edit. No confirmation of posting, etc. 

    Hell since the last update the web version sucks. I'm not familiar with Quiller media but AI as it currently stands is anti-advertising. That is this web site performs so badly with Quillers software that it is likely encouraging people to look else where for their web site software.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    freerange said:
    This is the one thing I agree with Trump on. We should be slapping heavy tariffs on these suppressive hypocrites until they truly open up their markets, and stop suppressing the internet and content.


    You realize doing this would put Apple out of business.  
  • Reply 15 of 28
    mubaili said:
    Damn it! It is a shame of China government; it is a shame and cowardness of Chinese netizens who just stand by silently day after day when they cannot access Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, it is a shame on Obama govt that also just stands by silently like a sheep without protests or wage a trading war to protect and promote American companies' interest. It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead and just close all the retail stores in China and recall all iPhones in China and leave China for good.
    @muballi "It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead"  HUH?? Google's LEAD???  Did Google have anything to do with Google search or other information/data services not being in China? I don't recall Google making a major political stance and saying that they would not provide any of Google services in China. Did that happen? I thought it was China who kept Google out of China??? Wasn't it??? Besides Google does provide the Android OS to companies in China to make those cheap Android phones. So Google is gaining through that product being used in China by Chinese manufacturers. (oh, that's right Google doesn't make any direct money from doing that) The issue here is control of CONTENT and INFORMATION to the Chinese people. I think it is better that Apple stay in China in whatever manner they can. With their Western culture foot in the door of the Chinese communists is the best way to begin to open the door all the way. I do agree the U.S. administration should (and I think they DO) promote human rights and free exchange of information to and between the Chinese people and the rest of the world.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    juanm105 said:
    mubaili said:
    Damn it! It is a shame of China government; it is a shame and cowardness of Chinese netizens who just stand by silently day after day when they cannot access Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, it is a shame on Obama govt that also just stands by silently like a sheep without protests or wage a trading war to protect and promote American companies' interest. It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead and just close all the retail stores in China and recall all iPhones in China and leave China for good.
    @muballi "It is a shame on Apple that doesn't follow Google's lead"  HUH?? Google's LEAD???  Did Google have anything to do with Google search or other information/data services not being in China? I don't recall Google making a major political stance and saying that they would not provide any of Google services in China. Did that happen? I thought it was China who kept Google out of China??? Wasn't it??? 
    No it wasn't. It was Google that left China for reasons that went well beyond simply economic. In fact it upset the Chinese Government quite a bit at the time as Google said it was in protest of their censorship policies. After that things went downhill quickly. Taking a stand on principle can be costly.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/23/google-china-news-googles_n_509550.html

    Even Google probably has some regrets about it now from a business perspective and has reached out to the Chinese leadership in the past few months in an effort to dip a toe back in the waters with Google Play.

    edited April 2016 singularitycurt12
  • Reply 17 of 28
    We should boycott Chinese companies like FoxConn and Pegatron. Oh wait.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    sockrolid said:

    levi said:
    Good for them. Wonder why so many choose to move money and family offshore. 
    Because Communism?
    I have a true story about China that seems apropos here...

    When I used to travel to China on business, I went to one rather remote location that manufactured thousands of varieties of writing instruments (mostly pens). When I spoke to the plant supervisor, I discovered that he ran the factory there but actually lived in Southern California and would go back home every several weeks to his wife! That was very surprising to me.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    This story supports my belief that at some point, China's protectionism will lead it to ban the iPhone in favor of their own locally produced products, naturally using nothing but the finest technology and stolen IP from other companies.

    Personally, I'd rather Apple moved all of their manufacturing and assembly out of China and used 100% robot labor, but China has a lock on the raw materials and components markets.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 20 of 28
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 144member
    China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy, positive culture that is a force for good,"
     In other words we must brain wash our people to see things only our way period. Movies and books that show what freedom is like is very negative. 
    Can't show life outside of China as being anything but negative to keep our brain washing ways alive.
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