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China Regulator To Review Apple Antitrust Complaint (bloomberg.com) 30

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce is reviewing an antitrust complaint accusing Apple of abusing its dominant position in smartphone applications, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. From the report: The regulator is studying the information following a complaint filed on behalf of developers before deciding if a formal investigation is necessary, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter isn't public. The review is preliminary and Chinese antitrust agencies usually review such information before deciding whether a official probe is needed. Beijing-based law firm Daxiao, or Dare & Sure, said earlier this month it filed complaints on the developers' behalf to the SAIC and the National Development and Reform Commission. The lawyers accused Apple of removing apps without a proper explanation and taking an excessive 30 percent cut of in-app transactions, it said in an Aug. 8 statement. The law firm now represents close to 50 developers, producing games and a number of other apps, according to Lin Wei, managing partner of Dare & Sure.
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China Regulator To Review Apple Antitrust Complaint

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  • by XXongo ( 3986865 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @01:12PM (#55111823) Homepage
    I'm sure that the Chinese regulatory agencies are completely trustworthy and unbiased, so we can be sure that there are no hidden motives of the Chinese government here.
    • by XXongo ( 3986865 )
      Oh, wait, I was supposed to add the "irony" symbol. Sorry:

      ~

    • As an American, it's really weird to see regulatory agencies taking the view that the behavior of ruthless multinational megacorps should benefit their people. I just sort of automatically assume they'd be bought out or that the megacorp would appoint its own people to the regulatory agency.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Are they biased in favor of Apple because Foxconn (who makes iPhone) employs so many?
      Are they biased against Apple because Foxconn (who makes other phones) employs so many?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        They are biased in favor of China because China.

        Their intended long-term goal is for Apple to leave the money and the technology behind in China, but remove everything else.

  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @01:13PM (#55111827) Homepage Journal

    Isn't this the same type of conditions that Google applies for Android on the PlayStore? I am not saying this makes Apple innocent, just that this seems to be generally the same across mobile platforms.

    This page [google.com] says this about Android apps:

    For applications and in-app products that you offer on Google Play, the transaction fee is equivalent to 30% of the price.

    You receive 70% of the payment. The remaining 30% goes to the distribution partner and operating fees.

    Heck, when a developer sold an app via the old brick and mortar stores, they were probably lucky to get 50%.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't this the same type of conditions that Google applies for Android on the PlayStore?

      Yes, but a key difference is that with Android you are not locked into the Playstore (sans jailbreaking). You can simply check a box to allow installation from anywhere, and then you can install from other app stores of which there are several, or FOSS from F-Droid, etc. Alternately you can simply copy over an apk and sideload.

      You are not as locked into a single store.

      • by OYAHHH ( 322809 )

        Just did this yesterday.

      • Isn't this the same type of conditions that Google applies for Android on the PlayStore?

        Yes, but a key difference is that with Android you are not locked into the Playstore (sans jailbreaking). You can simply check a box to allow installation from anywhere, and then you can install from other app stores of which there are several, or FOSS from F-Droid, etc. Alternately you can simply copy over an apk and sideload.

        You are not as locked into a single store.

        Sure - you can choose between other stores that also take their 30% share, or those that offer a few hundred items of Free Softwares (and also take 30% of nothing), or you can install pirated software from some gangster outfit that either takes a 100% share of what you pay, and/or you pay with whatever the malware you get takes from you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't this the same type of conditions that Google applies for Android on the PlayStore? I am not saying this makes Apple innocent, just that this seems to be generally the same across mobile platforms.

      Google and Google Play are both completely blocked in China and all Android manufacturers have some other app store preinstalled in their mobile phones for Chinese market. So while it might be generally the same across mobile platforms in the west, it definitely isn't the case in China.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      hehe well the only other stores available in china are chinese.

      maybe thats why they think 30 percent is excessive.

      also. 15 years ago ANY developer would have yelled with joy to be fleeced only 30%. seriously.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Isn't this the same type of conditions that Google applies for Android on the PlayStore? I am not saying this makes Apple innocent, just that this seems to be generally the same across mobile platforms.

      Which is why Google Play is not available in China.

      What is available in China are tons of app stores, and practically all of them are infested with crap. Not just pirated apps, but pirated apps laced with all sorts of malware.

      You look up the next Android malware thing, and even if it doesn't affect the Play s

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...the first hint that Apple might decide to pull back iPhone production from China to the states will be when this case is dismissed.

    At this point the sales of the iPhone in China is a very small percentage.

  • by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Wednesday August 30, 2017 @01:33PM (#55111983)

    It has an iPhone app store monopoly.

    Apple is in a weird position here. People actually spend money on iOS apps because they trust the store. People only trust Apple App Store because Apple exerts control over it. This suit wants people to buy their apps, but to destroy the control Apple has that makes people actually trust sending money to developers.

    • The easy solution is to allow for other app stores to exist outside of Apple's official store. People can still trust the apps they get from Apple and their store and are under no requirement to use some other store to purchase their apps.

      I can see Apple being against this because they want to control the whole platform and user experience. Having previously done tech support I can understand Apple's position that users are bloody stupid and shouldn't be trusted with anything. Unfortunately there's no ea
      • If users are so bloody stupid that shouldn't be trusted with anything, you wouldn't even give them a sheet of paper otherwise they might cut themselves and bleed to death.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Apple trusts its users. It does not trust app developers. Big difference.

          And given the vast amount of malware written for Android compared to iOS, I'd say they have a good point.

      • by OYAHHH ( 322809 )

        > If you want the freedom to choose for yourself and are willing to accept the consequences of that, get an Android phone instead.

        For now....

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The easy solution is to allow for other app stores to exist outside of Apple's official store.

        This has actually been implemented with great success. (In terms of it working; I've no fucking clue if the market calls it a "success.")

        There are several different, competing repos where you can get software for your smartphone. Apple doesn't have a store for Android yet, but they could trivially add one, and wouldn't need anyone's permission to do so.

    • by _merlin ( 160982 )

      It isn't about buying applications, it's about Apple saying that peer-to-peer payments count as in-app purchases. WeChat/QQ/etc. allow you to send money or pay for purchases with a wallet tied to your account. They charge no commission on this (same business model as zero-commission travellers' cheques - TenCent can use the rather significant total amount of money that everyone has in their WeChat wallets at any given time). Apple wants a 30% cut of all these transactions. They may have written themselv

  • by OYAHHH ( 322809 )

    I heard Apple removed VPNs from it's store recently due to Chinese pressure. True? Related to this?

    • I believe they removed them to comply with Chinese law rather than "pressure". I'm sure there will be much dismay of this action but whether you like it or not, if you are going to do business in China ... or any other country you need to comply with their laws whether you agree with them or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Earlier last week Trump announced the IP theft and anti dumping investigation to China's trade practices- this is China's response. The first shots of the trade war has been fired.

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