Chinese Developers File Antitrust Complaint Against Apple for 'Monopolistic Behavior'

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A group of 28 developers in China have enlisted a local law firm to file a complaint against Apple in a case alleging that the company engaged in "monopolistic behavior" during some of the actions it has taken to regulate the App Store in China (via The Wall Street Journal).

    Lin Wei, an attorney with Dare & Sure Law Firm, filed the complaint this week and targeted Apple for removing apps from the App Store "without detailed explanation and charging excessive fees for in-app purchases." Wei said that Dare & Sure has spoken to different enterprises and received a "very strong response" from each, related to potential antitrust violations with Apple's App Store localization processes.
    According to Reuters, the case dates back to April of this year, when Dare & Sure invited developers to join and ended up with the 28 in question who are now part of the official complaint made this week. The law firm filed the complaint with two organizations that handle antitrust matters: China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission.

    The details of what developers and which apps are involved in the complaint were not given, although an Apple spokeswoman mentioned in a brief comment to Reuters that app publishing remains consistent across all countries. There are some exceptions, however, when local laws force Apple to change its policies, most recently when the company pulled the majority of virtual private network apps from the App Store in China because of strict regulations in the country that require VPN apps to be authorized by the government.

    In addition, the Apple spokeswoman said that the company is currently working on expanding its local developer relations team to help bolster app development in the country. Apple has faced issues in the past within China, particularly related to controversial content it has sold on the iTunes and iBooks storefronts, but earlier this year Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated on the company's plans to continue investing in the country, telling local media, "We're here to stay."

    Article Link: Chinese Developers File Antitrust Complaint Against Apple for 'Monopolistic Behavior'
  2. dominiongamma macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
  3. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    And Apple has the nerve to talk ill of the United States government and FBI
  4. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    I have a feeling that Tim Cook like many foreigners underestimated the complexities of expanding into China. Never underestimate the cultural differences.
  5. Jago macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2013
    Monopolistic behaviour requires actually having a monopoly to begin with.
  6. GrumpyMom macrumors 601


    Sep 11, 2014
    CEOs need to be fully cognizant of what they are getting themselves into when going into China.

    It's a never ending series of bending over, bowing and scraping while losing ground and IP. I hope Tim Cook went into China with native guidance and executives from the get go. You can't go into China with a western perspective and expect it to end well.
  7. Saipher macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2014
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm kinda getting tired of this whole China demands charade (no VPNs, local servers, etc). I wish Apple would just pull out the market but I guess the money is just too good to pass......
  8. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    So long as the concessions don't trickle to the services and products that I use from Apple, I don't really care. Maybe Apple should just fork iOS for that market.
  9. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    On what basis? Hunch?

    And if he had full understood said complexities, what would have been different? Not to enter?

    Sure China is China, and India is India, every local market has its nuances, but the only question upon entering a market is “can we do clean business and can we make money at it?” If no, don’t go. Otherwise everything is negotiation, adaption, optimization.
  10. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Are you saying Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the App Store? Because they do. I can hear the argument forming that "people can choose Android so it's not a monopoly". Please don't use that. It's not applicable. This case is specifically about iOS, the App Store, and it's environment. I don't agree with the reason for the lawsuit, but that doesn't change the parameters of it.

    It's the same type of situation with Google and Russia.
  11. dannyyankou macrumors 603


    Mar 2, 2012
    It’s not a monopoly, it’s their phone, they can put whatever App Store they want on it. Anyone can become a developer and get paid.

    Don’t want to use Apple’s App Store? Buy a different phone.
  12. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Guess you chose not to honor my request. I even said please.:(
  13. scuac macrumors member


    Mar 2, 2008
    More people that don't understand what the monopoly means. The lawsuit itself may have merit in regards to the AppStore practices, but please by slapping monopoly onto it it loses some credibility.

    On second thought, I wonder if the lawsuit itself uses that wording or if this is a case of western media hyperbole.
  14. AJ5790 macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2016
    And what happens when China decides to shut down apples manugacturing after they defy them?
  15. macTW macrumors 65816

    Oct 17, 2016
    I guess not every developer is smart? Apple has a monopoly on the App Store because they created and own the App Store. They can charge whatever fees and respond to whatever queries they'd like.

    Though I wonder if the percentage of queries responded to changes depending on language.
  16. 69Mustang macrumors 601


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Yeah, unfortunately that's not a get out jail free card. Ask Google. Russia made a similar claim against Google regarding the Play Store and Google's pre-installed apps.
  17. Saipher macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2014
    Sacramento, CA
    While possible, this would be highly unlikely since the Chinese government also likes money. The taxes paid by employees and companies part of Apple's supply chain, plus overseas investments into said companies, are not small. There would also be a huge backlash by other foreign companies in support of Apple, and by the US government as well, since the Chinese would be basically coercing an American company to do what it wants. Google pulled out of the Chinese market in 2010 due to censorship issues and there was no backlash by the Chinese as far as I know. Plus, it would be the perfect excuse to bring manufacturing back to the US; now, if that is a good idea, it is a different discussion.
  18. rp2011 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2010
    China is a huge market and growing and growing. I expect them to leverage that more and more as it’s importance to Apple grows and grows.
  19. star_nerdy macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2017
  20. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    So, if an idiot lawyer convinces some other idiots to file a lawsuit against a Chinese company in America, it is America attacking China? And if they win the government will step in and shut down all of their operations?

    Just because one lawyer does something doesn't mean his or her whole country is doing it. People act like China is one massive person with one opinion about everything. Given the billions of people there it is quite humorous.
  21. MacknTosh macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2015
    There are a few people saying it's not a monopoly, but developers don't have an option to go to an 'Alternative Apple App Store' to sell their apps, and iPhone users don't have the option to go to the same Alternative store to buy them cheaper.

    Sure, Apple own the App Store, and as such have the right to control what they do and don't want to allow. But developers and Apple product owners don't have an alternative store to sell/purchase apps, meaning Apple have exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market - the definition of a monopoly.
  22. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
  23. Shirasaki macrumors 603


    May 16, 2015
    I don’t say Apple is wrong entering China. But, iOS is not designed for Chinese user from the get go.

    Also, Chinese government is evolving into a toxic foreign government in global market. Even local Chinese cannot play well with other Players, let alone a western company.
  24. gnipgnop macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2009
    It's actually the opposite. China's overall economy doesn't have the growth levels that it used to and manufacturing is guaranteed to move to other places that are cheaper than China in the next couple of decades. They're getting more aggressive in leveraging what they have now because they know their opportunity to do so is limited.
  25. laz232, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017

    laz232 macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2016
    First of all this appears to be a case brought about by private individuals - similar to the hundreds of class action suits in the USA.

    As for Chinese governmental demands of, for example, local servers - I should say it makes sense from their point of view: they are tired of NSA, FBI et al having access to their citizen's data. I'm sure whichever country you're in would also have politicians and a public supporting such rules.

    UK and Australia are starting to make similar demands and would love to implement VPN blocking given half a chance:

Share This Page