Apple’s iTune’s Movies and iBooks services have been shut down in China. The decision came out after seven months since the services started operating in the country. Apple trying to restore services as soon as possible. But for now there is no time frame. The closure began last week.
Users in China are getting message saying the services “cannot be used“. The stores were ordered to close by the State Administration of Press, Publication, The New York Times reported.
“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible.” Apple said in a statement. The suspension appears to affect only users with Apple accounts registered in mainland China. Accounts registered in overseas countries can still access the services within China.
China is Apple’s second largest market after the US. Almost every major city has Apple store. In February, the tech giant launched its smartphone-based payment system, Apple Pay, in China, making it the fifth country where the service is offered.
“They are interested in protecting the content that the Chinese people see. Regulating its national security and favouring indigenous giants such as Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent.” In this new era, he added. China is strongly disinclined to accept the dominance of foreign players on the internet, not least those from the United States.”
In 2013, Apple signed an agreement with China’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, to sell the iPhone in the country, after six years of wooing the carrier. Chinese consumers spent $59 billion on Apple’s products in the company’s last fiscal year.
Timothy D Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has made multiple visits to China. And while the company has faced occasional opposition – most notably an attack by state and Communist Party media against its customer support – it has largely been left alone.
“China must improve management of cyberspace and work to ensure high-quality content with positive voices creating a healthy. Positive culture that is a force for good.” official news agency Xinhua quoted President Xi Jinping as saying this week.
Apple shares fell 29 cents to close at $105.68 Friday, leaving them down 3.8 percent in the past week. That’s the worst week for the stock since late January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.