China wants to tighten screws on livestreaming apps

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China
Tim Cook meeting with China's vice premier on a previous visit.
Photo: Apple

Apple has run into another hurdle in China, with internet regulators in the country reportedly calling on Apple to “tighten its checks” on live streaming apps which appear in the App Store.

While no specific live streaming apps are mentioned, popular apps include Periscope, Facebook Live, and others. Apparently the concern on this occasion concerns possible “management loopholes” with the apps in question. However, this is far from the first time the Chinese government has kicked up a fuss about Apple.

Apple has already met on a previous occasion with the Beijing Cyberspace Administration, Beijing Public Security Bureau and Beijing Cultural Market Administrative Law Enforcement Team about examining live streaming apps in the App Store.

Growing the Apple brand in China

The news comes at a time when the company is pushing harder than ever to grow its brand in China. While iPhone sales have fallen in China, the company recently set an all-new record for the most App Store revenue brought in from one country in a quarter — with China edging out the U.S. as Apple’s new most profitable market for apps.

Tim Cook has also been outspoken about Apple designing its new products with the Chinese audience in mind.

That’s not to say that Apple has had an easy ride in China, however. Previously Apple was ordered to shut down the iBookstore and iTunes Movies in China, while Apple has also been forced to accept the Chinese government’s demands that it run network safety evaluations on all Apple products before they can be imported into the country.

In addition, its products were booted off the list of approved state purchases, along with other Western companies such as Cisco and Intel — in favor of thousands of Chinese-made products.

Will live streaming apps be the next big issue for Apple to contend with? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s clearly something both sides are taking very seriously.

Source: Reuters