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.


Chinese developers target Apple with antitrust suit

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Apple is facing complaints of anti-competitive behavior in China, according to The Financial Times.

The case, filed by a Chinese law firm on behalf of 28 local developers, alleges Apple violated antitrust regulations by abusing its control of the iOS App Store by charging excessive fees for in-app purchases and removing apps from its local store without detailed explanation.

In a statement, Apple noted that its App Store guidelines apply equally to all developers across all countries, and in the chance an app is removed from the App Store, developers have the opportunity to request a review to reinstate the app in a timely manner.

The complaint comes as Apple continues its efforts to maintain strong ties with China’s government, which has heavily restricted the ability of western technology companies to compete.

  • A few weeks ago, Apple announced the removal of several virtual private network (VPN) services from its App Store in China. This move came as the Chinese government had been pressuring the firm to ban all VPNs — which allow users to bypass China’s heavily regulated internet — that aren’t approved by state regulators.
  • Earlier this month, the company announced plans to begin storing its Chinese users’ data on servers run by a Chinese government-controlled company. This could arguably give the government access to users’ personal information. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook has taken a hard line against sharing user data with the US government.

Apple is looking to China as a key growth market, but has struggled in the region in recent quarters. With the Google Play store for Android smartphones being blocked in China since 2010, the Chinese app market plays to Apple’s advantage; China accounts for Apple’s largest source of iOS app revenue, according to App Annie. The country is also the firm’s largest market outside the US, accounting for over one-fifth of Apple’s total revenue in the 2016 fiscal year. However, revenue derived from China has fallen for six consecutive quarters, to $8 billion in fiscal Q3 (that ended June 30) 2017, down 10% from fiscal Q3 2016.

Laurie Beaver, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on app monetization that:

  • Provides key factors driving the expected growth of global app revenue
  • Evaluates the top app monetization strategies
  • Looks at emerging trends to help developers navigate the app ecosystem
  • Explains the challenges that developers face to compete in the app market
  • And much more
  • [Source”cnbc”]


Andy Golpys says the gender gap in tech impacts every business so they must help take steps to close it

The co-founder and creative director of North West web design studio MadeByShape has called on other businesses to help encourage more women into tech careers.

Last year it was reported 50,000 girls were turning away from a STEM education each year. An extensive PwC survey showed that only three per cent of females expressed that a career in tech would be their first choice, with only five per cent of females holding leadership positions in the sector.

“I wanted to use my experience, alongside insights from some North West digital heavyweights, to ask the question ‘Why aren’t there more female web developers?’,” says Andy Golpys.


Golpys has worked as a university lecturer for eight years, focusing on web design and development alongside running successful web design studio, MadeByShape.

He says he found that for graphic design students choosing between disciplines such as illustration, photography, web design or motion, only around 50 per cent of students choose web and of this small number very few are female.

“Do we need to look at why enough female students aren’t picking web as an option?,” he says.

“If so, does work need to be done to reinforce how big the industry is (and is likely to grow), how many opportunities there are for jobs, or how eye catching the pay salaries and company benefits are?

“The number of females choosing Graphic Design and similar courses is high, so what is the reason for them not to choosing web, with digital now emerging as a bigger industry than print design?

“Are they just not interested in coding all day every day? Would they rather be on the creative or client side of an agency? Or is it simply that a career in tech has not been previously mentioned to them and so it has never been considered?”

Women in Tech

Golpys adds that he has noticed movement in the area in the last couple of years with actions being taken to address the issues and figureheads in the sector engaging in activity to help make a change.

“At MadeByShape we have provided numerous opportunities to students and graduates, both male and female, to come and work with us on live briefs, with team members on hand to answer questions,” he says.

The company is also now working with local colleges to target a younger audience by offering work experience to those interested in the digital sector.

“During a three week placement, that individual will gain a great insight and have a good idea whether this is something that they enjoy; this is a valuable opinion to take away.”

He summarises: “We all know that there is a massive digital skills gap in this country; add to that the fact that women are hugely under-represented in the sector and you’re left with something of a problem.

“No matter who you are or where you work, the gender gap in tech already impacts you so what is important now are the steps we take to start closing this together.”


Fallout 4 Developers Walkthrough the Upcoming Nuka-World DLC

Fallout 4 Developers Walkthrough the Upcoming Nuka-World DLC

In a recent livestream event, Mark Teare and Matt Grandstaff from Bethesda walks fans through the opening portions of the upcoming Fallout 4 expansion, Nuka-World.

Since launching in November of 2015, Fallout 4 has gone on to be a massive success for Bethesda, even setting record sales numbers at retail during launch week. To continue that momentum, the game has been the recipient of a ton of updates including both paid downloadable content and free updates like mod support. The last content expansion pack is coming next week and to help fans get even more excited, Bethesda played through a small portion of it, providing some insight into what fans can expect once it arrives.

In a scheduled livestream event, Bethesda Global Community Lead, Matt Grandstaff, and Nuka-World Lead Artist, Mark Teare, walked fans through a small portion of the upcoming Nuka-World expansion pack for Fallout 4. While the duo made sure to omit potential spoilers, fans got a great look at the opening portions of the content pack while giving some developer insight and behind the scenes stories.


As demonstrated in the stream, this raider heavy theme park is intended for more experienced players, as Bethesda recommends character levels to be beyond 30 in order to stand a fighting chance. In addition to the first couple missions and a look at a snarky robot named N.I.R.A., fans also got a good look at a place called Nuka-cade, where tokens and tickets scavenged from trash bins around the park can be used to play old school arcade games with a Fallout style twist like whack-a-mole, a shooting gallery, skee ball, and hoop shot. Better yet, earned tickets can be redeemed, though the prizes have not been detailed.

Fans will need to first ensure that update 1.7 is installed on their platform of choice in order for Nuka-World to appear on the map. Players will then notice a new radio station is available called Nuka-Cola Family Radio, which will kick off the quest line. The update also includes minor UI improvements, mod enhancements, and a number of bug fixes like the odd issue where companions may sometimes unequip their clothing after fast travelling.

With Nuka-World is scheduled to arrive next week, PlayStation 4 fans continue to wait and wonder when mod support will finally make it to their platform. Originally scheduled for this past June, the feature is still being evaluated with no current timetable set.

Now that you’ve seen the content in action, will you be entering the gates of Nuka-World? Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming DLC below in the comments.


[Source: GR]