The ongoing situation between the United States and China is already causing Apple plenty of discomfort and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. With Apple being told by the Trump administration that they might need to ban WeChat and TikTok, there’s the chance that China itself will retaliate, according to The Information.
As the report notes, app stores in China are meant to be majority-owned by a Chinese company, but the App Store isn’t. That could put more pressure on Apple, with China deciding to put that rule into effect.
Apple has previously considered setting up a new Chinese arm to deal with this problem but it hasn’t happened so far. Apple did revisit the possibility in 2018, with Trump raising tensions with China, but the Chinese authorities have been dragging their feet. Now, it seems, the delay is down to regulators wanting complete control over what goes into the App Store.
According to people familiar with the matter, Chinese officials have said they won’t grant it until Apple makes more concessions that allow regulators to approve what goes into the App Store. However, Apple executives are reluctant to change its current practices as it would give Beijing more power over what apps it publishes in China, they said.
Apple isn’t going to allow that, suggesting things could come to a head. And when that happens, there’s no telling how things will pan out.
The full report over at The Information is well worth a read for all the details on just how complicated the App Store situation is in China right now.
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