Chinese Developers File Antitrust Complaint Against Apple

A group of Chinese app developers has filed a complaint against Apple, alleging that the company had violated antitrust regulations in its App Store. And the complaint is only the latest sign of Apple’s increasing trouble in the country.

The complaint, which was filed with Chinese regulators, accuses Apple of anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior. The group of developers allege that Apple charges excessive fees for in-app purchases, doesn’t give explanations or details for arbitrary app removal, and doesn’t respond to queries in Chinese — putting local developers are a disadvantage — according to The Wall Street Journal.

The case was filed by Beijing-based law firm Dare & Sure, and sent to two separate Chinese regulatory entities: the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Administration for Industry & Commerce. “Steve Jobs represented the American dream. But Apple’s unequal treatment of China’s young developers stops them from realizing their China dream,” Dare & Sure’s Lin Wei said in a statement.

Apple began cracking down on illegitimate apps earlier this year, which resulted in the removal of over 58,000 Chinese apps. According to the developer’s complaint, Chinese app makers never received sufficient explanations for their apps being removed — and were often left waiting months before they were able to get their legitimate apps back onto the marketplace. Additionally, the developers allege that Apple takes too high of a cut for in-app purchases — around 30 percent. In China, in-app purchases on mobile platforms like Weibo are widely used for everyday transactions — from buying public transit tickets to ordering food.

China is an extremely important market for Apple, and specifically, its App Store. Apple made more money in China via its digital marketplace than any other country, according to research firm IDC. Apple’s iOS also has an edge over Android — its largest competitor — as Google Play is blocked within China.

An even bigger issue, Lin contends, is that Apple’s App Store doesn’t appear to have legal registration in China, making it technically illegal for the company to provide internet content within the country, according to The Financial Times. Apple, for its part, says that it does comply with all “local laws and regulations.” Despite that, analysts and tech executives are predicting that “Apple’s troubles [in China] have just started.” Specifically, as the company shifts from being, primarily, a hardware manufacturer to more of a content provider. The Chinese government notoriously restricts the flow of information and content, which could bring Apple’s Services business into further conflict with local regulatory bodies.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has already compromised on several issues in China. Last month, Apple removed all major VPN apps in the country in accordance with new Chinese regulations that required the anonymity platforms to be explicitly approved and licensed by the government. The company also recently opened its first data center in China, allowing it to store user information locally.

[Source”cnbc”]

Gujarat HC dismisses Essar Steel appeal against bankruptcy proceedings

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MUMBAI: Gujarat High Courton Monday dismissed Essar Steel India Ltd’s appeal against a central bank order that asked creditor banks to start insolvency proceedings against the steelmaker, lawyers on the case said.

The ruling is a boost to the government, which in May tweaked Indian banking laws to empower the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to tackle the country’s bad debt issue, allowing the RBI for the first time to direct lenders to force defaulters into insolvency courts.

The ruling paves the way for the start of bankruptcy proceedings against Essar Steel, although the company could appeal the ruling. The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Essar Steel had argued that it should have been given an opportunity to present its case before the Reserve Bank of India decided to include the company among 12 defaulters that would be referred to bankruptcy court.

 Essar had also argued that proceedings could result in the company’s demise when it was “almost in the stage of revival” and working to resolve its debt problems, according to court documents.

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The RBI had in June asked lenders to start insolvency proceedings against 12 companies, as part of new powers it gained this year to help the country cut down on the more than Rs 9.65 lakh crore in stressed assets in the banking system.
Earlier reports had emerged that Essar Steel owes lenders around Rs 45,000 crore, of which Rs 31,670 crore had become non-performing as of March 31,

[Source”indianexpress”]