Chinese developers file antitrust complaint against Apple over App Store removal policies,...

Posted:
in iPhone
Citing monopolistic behavior in how it reviews, posts, and removes apps from the App Stores, a cadre of 28 Chinese developers have filed a complaint against Apple, alleging antitrust violations.




The 28 developers filed through Beijing's Dare & Sure law firm, according to a report by Reuters. The complaint alleges that the apps are removed by Apple without notice, and the company doesn't give details on why -- and when it does, the queries are not responded to in Chinese.

Developers are also complaining about excessive fees for in-app purchases.

"During its localization process Apple has run into several antitrust issues," Lin Wei of Dare & Sure said. "After an initial investigation we consulted a number of enterprises and got a very strong response."

The law firm invited developers to join the complain in April. The complaint, including unnamed developers, was filed on Tuesday with China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission.

Apple issued a blanket statement, referring to its terms and conditions for developers, including fees. In the statement, Apple noted that most Chinese App Store submission are approved to be on the store "within 48 hours, or less." It went on to state that the rules for the app store, including transaction fees, apply equally to all developers in every country, and in accordance with those universal rules there is an appeal process for developers that feel that apps were removed in error.

The Chinese developer's complaints appear to include Apple's revision on it's "tipping" policy for digital content providers. Once banned, Apple changed its rules to allow the tips through in-app purchases -- but is taking its customary cut of such transactions.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Seeing as how Apple doesn't have dominant market share for smartphones in China, it can't be called a monopoly. Case dismissed.
    watto_cobrajbdragonStrangeDaysbaconstangRacerhomieX
  • Reply 2 of 26
    As a developer that has witnessed the appeal process on a few apps that were edgy I can say that the appeals process can be a black hole.  When they say no very little actual information on the decision or way to find out is provided.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    baconstangRacerhomieXjony0
  • Reply 4 of 26
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    Seeing as how Apple doesn't have dominant market share for smartphones in China, it can't be called a monopoly. Case dismissed.
    From a substantive / common-sense perspective I entirely agree. 

    In many countries, though, the laws are not always perfectly aligned with common sense. I'm not sure how well aligned China's antitrust laws are with common sense. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 26
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,717member
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    It isn't as easy or clearcut as you make it seem. If you consider the landlord's rules to be illegal in some way, what should you do? Just move out and let things stand?
  • Reply 6 of 26
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,580member
    China is just a huge pain in the ass...if its not one thing its another with them. 
    baconstangmonstrositywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 26
    zompzomp Posts: 44member
    Listen Developers - without Apple's App store, you would have never been notice. I recall the good old days when Best Buy only sold titles they wanted you to buy and they made a cut as well. Apple has always said to set up your own website to collect fees, so do it. If you want apple to make it easy for you, then you must pay. Besides, you aren't really paying, you can set the price to whatever the market will bear in order to cover your overhead. There is a difference between wholesaling and Retailing, you are a wholesaler and if you want to be both, go develop your own platform and operate your own store. Suck it up.
    StrangeDaysbaconstangRacerhomieXwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 26
    zompzomp Posts: 44member
    Maybe apple should say give to the developers "give a wholesale price" and then Apple Marks up the product - the problem then is that developers will complain that apple is marking up their product higher than the competitors because of a relationship. Apple's fee keeps everyone honest with no favoritism.
    edited August 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 26
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,583member
    Great, now scumbag western law firm ambulance chasing / class action techniques are being being imported into China. And in this case, going after Apple for doing exactly what the Chinese government does, removing and banning things without notice or explanation. Comical!

    Further, this looks like a big fat nothing burger. Trying to find out anything about these legal hacks online and virtually nothing comes up in English - they are obviously a small outfit. They have a Facebook listing with no info other than the fact that they are located in Beijing, and no website comes up, or other articles about them. Yawn! I did find their website but it's written only in Chinese. Any substantial Chinese law firm will have an English language version/link for their site, and their site isn't even optimized for mobile, which is laughable in the Chinese market.
    edited August 2017 jbdragonbaconstangRacerhomieXwatto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 10 of 26
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,329member
    macxpress said:
    China is just a huge pain in the ass...if its not one thing its another with them. 
    Vague generality that means nothing.   The same could be said of any country since every country has non-sensical and/or inconsistent or conflicting laws and policies.  

    And the U.S. is by far, the most litigious country in the world.  We read about idiotic lawsuits constantly.  
    jbdragonbaconstangtaniwhajony0
  • Reply 11 of 26
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,329member

    zomp said:
    Maybe apple should say give to the developers "give a wholesale price" and then Apple Marks up the product - the problem then is that developers will complain that apple is marking up their product higher than the competitors because of a relationship. Apple's fee keeps everyone honest with no favoritism.
    By taking 30%, that is in essence what Apple is doing.   What's the difference if a developer gives a wholesale price and Apple marks it up x% or if the developer establishes a retail price, as they do now, and Apple takes 30% (aside from the slight math differences:  Taking 30% of $100 is $30, leaving $70, but marking up $70 30% is $91).   

    Everyone wants a free ride.   How well would these developers do if there was no App Store?   
    StrangeDaysbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 26
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    avon b7 said:
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    It isn't as easy or clearcut as you make it seem. If you consider the landlord's rules to be illegal in some way, what should you do? Just move out and let things stand?
    But it is though, it is the landlord's house after all, that he built with his own hands, if he says no loud music after nine, that Goddamn it no fucking loud gangster rap after nine end of story, you can't just say "but the neighbors allow music till twelve" screw that, go live there then. If Apple was doing something even vaguely resembling lawbreaking the Chinese government would be the one going after Cupetino, what this is is disgruntled citizens fighting a dictatorship indirectly through a tech company. I mean Apple cant fight the Chinese ruling party, Apple ins't Chinese, and that be the quickest way to get the iPhone banned in China, then what ? 

    Compered to the oppressive regime they live under App Store regulation should seem like heaven, and let's not foget Apple ain't the only game in town, there's plenty of hot competition, if a developer is so unhappy then how bout he invents his own revolutionary tec and a store then implement whatever rules he wants. I understand that fairness is important and commendable but it isn't owed to anyone, not in this situation.

    My suspicion is that China wants to be the next North Korea with their money and expertise they figure they can do it better, then, who ever rules can rule forever
    StrangeDaysbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 26
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,754member
    macxpress said:
    China is just a huge pain in the ass...if its not one thing its another with them. 
    This is typical of western selfishness thinking.  Apple profited from China hundred times more than from India. Did you criticize India when India demanded Apple to do this and that? You are a loser!
    taniwha
  • Reply 14 of 26
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,754member
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    This is truly stupid reasoning.  The problem is from Chinese developers not from Chinese government.  Why do you place the blame on the government. Apple has been doing this to all developers around the world very few has filed suit. 
    holyone
  • Reply 15 of 26
    nhtnht Posts: 4,228member
    tzeshan said:
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    This is truly stupid reasoning.  The problem is from Chinese developers not from Chinese government.  Why do you place the blame on the government. Apple has been doing this to all developers around the world very few has filed suit. 
    You act as if Chinese developers would dare do this without tacit government approval.
    baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 26
    So sad... they can't get their malware approved.
    watto_cobraholyone
  • Reply 17 of 26
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,717member
    holyone said:
    avon b7 said:
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    It isn't as easy or clearcut as you make it seem. If you consider the landlord's rules to be illegal in some way, what should you do? Just move out and let things stand?
    But it is though, it is the landlord's house after all, that he built with his own hands, if he says no loud music after nine, that Goddamn it no fucking loud gangster rap after nine end of story, you can't just say "but the neighbors allow music till twelve" screw that, go live there then. If Apple was doing something even vaguely resembling lawbreaking the Chinese government would be the one going after Cupetino, what this is is disgruntled citizens fighting a dictatorship indirectly through a tech company. I mean Apple cant fight the Chinese ruling party, Apple ins't Chinese, and that be the quickest way to get the iPhone banned in China, then what ? 

    Compered to the oppressive regime they live under App Store regulation should seem like heaven, and let's not foget Apple ain't the only game in town, there's plenty of hot competition, if a developer is so unhappy then how bout he invents his own revolutionary tec and a store then implement whatever rules he wants. I understand that fairness is important and commendable but it isn't owed to anyone, not in this situation.

    My suspicion is that China wants to be the next North Korea with their money and expertise they figure they can do it better, then, who ever rules can rule forever
    The moment you decide to rent your property you subject yourself to be legally bound by local rental legislation. That legislation covers both the landlord's responsibilities and obligations as well as those of the tenant(s). It is not a dictatorship where you can do exactly as you please and expect the tenant to swallow.

    Within that framework however,  the landlord can set all the rules that are needed - as long as they fall within the legislation in force. The moment the landlord steps out of that framework he becomes open to complaint and someone else will decide what is legal or not.

    At this point in time, a complaint has been lodged and it will be evaluated. There might even be a hearing and ruling but we cannot say outright that Apple can do as it sees fit just because it is their store. That will depend on local legislation which I know nothing about. Time will tell, and we cannot assume that the Chinese government would have taken action on its own accord. Sometimes it happens but more often than not, a formal complaint is the detonator of these kinds of cases. It seems that is what we have here.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 26
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    tzeshan said:
    holyone said:
    Awh, are people still on this ? If you don't like the landlord's rules move, the Chinies people need to deal with theire government, every free and democratic nation got that freedom by fighting for it, they can't expect foreign business entities to do it for them, every freedom and privilege enjoyed anywhere was paid for with blood, this is why its treasured so. Lets hope that the "Asian spring" is coming in the not too distant future :p
    This is truly stupid reasoning.  The problem is from Chinese developers not from Chinese government.  Why do you place the blame on the government. Apple has been doing this to all developers around the world very few has filed suit. 
    You've missed the subtle point to a fact, which I was implying, the Chinese gov is to blame, they told Apple and many other tech firms to remove certain apps from their stores that allow just a little too much liberty for Chinese citizens threatening their ion grip on their people and the hegemonic regime operating in that country and instead of confronting their government that force some of these actions on Apple they take their frustrations out on a company that is required to follow the law in all regions where it does business, expecting Apple to fight their battles for them is well, ridiculous. Apple didn't just wake up one day and went " hey what could I do to fuck with the developers that help me sell millions of iPhones every year coz you know, I'm a sadistic fuck, oh wait, I know"
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 26
    How precious.   The developers think they live in a democracy or something. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 26
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    The Chinese Market seems to be Getting ,more dangerous ,by the Day. I hope, Apple can resolve this ,peacefully without getting something else removed
    watto_cobra
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