Apple has thwarted an attempt by multiple Chinese tech companies to get around its App Tracking Transparency feature, the Financial Times reports Monday.
The group of tech companies includes Baidu, Tencent, and TikTok parent company ByteDance. They supposedly worked with a couple of Beijing companies to find a new way to get around Apple’s new privacy measures.
However, Apple blocked updates to several apps that included the workaround, called the Chinese Advertising ID (CAID). In doing so, it enforced its rules in a way that may have surprised the companies in question.
The app for Didi Chuxing, the popular Chinese ride-hailing service, has been removed from the App Store in China, citing privacy concerns.
This is no usual case of Apple booting an app from the App Store for failing to measure up to its standards, though. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook sits on Didi’s board of directors, and Apple previously invested $1 billion in the Chinese Uber rival. Instead, the ban was ordered by China’s Cyberspace Administration of China regulators — citing “serious violations [regarding] collection and usage of personal information.”
Apple this week launched its App Store search advertising business in mainland China, five years after it arrived in the United States. Called Apple Search Ads, the targeted ads feature works similar to Google ads by letting developers bid to get advertising space for certain keywords.
Debuting Apple Search Ads in one of Apple’s biggest markets comes at the same time that Apple is cracking down on targeted advertising from other companies. Features like iOS 14’s App Transparency Tracker lets users opt out of personalized tracking from other companies. But while they’re struggling, Apple’s seemingly making the move to expand its own ad empire.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday that could see the United States invest $52 billion in growing its own chip manufacturing technologies. The $52 billion is part of a broader bipartisan bill. In total, it aims to invest close to $250 billion in U.S. manufacturing and technology.
The bill passed Tuesday with a 68-32 vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described it as likely to “go down as one of the most important things this chamber has done in a very long time.”
It is an attempt to wrestle back control of some of the world’s tech manufacturing from China.
Seven Apple suppliers in China are accused of using forced Uyghur labor, a report for The Information reveals.
The companies in question include Advanced-Connectek, AcBel Polytech, Avary Holding, CN Innovations, Luxshare Precision Industry, Shenzhen Deren Electronic Co., and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing Co.
All participated in what are referred to by the Chinese government as “poverty alleviation programs.” However, these may not be exactly how they sound.
It’s not just U.S. tech giants that fear iOS 14.5’s new App Tracking Transparency feature. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with a market cap of $646.84 billion, is supposedly very worried, just like Facebook.
A report from The Information says Alibaba invited half a dozen marketing execs to its Hangzhou headquarters to discuss how to react to the new feature, which stops apps from tracking users across websites and third-party apps.
Unfortunately, it’s also secure enough that it’s gotten on the wrong side of the Chinese government. China has reportedly banned the app in mainland China as of March 16, TechCrunch reports. This is one day after its website was blocked in the country.
China’s state-backed China Advertising Association is already looking for ways to get around Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
The organization’s approach reportedly involves something called a “CAID.” This can supposedly act as an alternative means of tracking users to the iPhone’s ad identifier, or IDFA. TikTok parent company ByteDance issued a guide for app developers that describes how marketers “can use CAID as a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable.”
For years, China has been Apple’s biggest manufacturing hub for building its devices. But that’s now changing, with a report Wednesday claiming that Apple is “ramping up” production of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other products in other parts of the world.
This is an attempt by Apple to diversify manufacturing beyond China, following trade tensions between the U.S. and China in recent years.