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China have always had a pretty solid stance when it comes to their national privacy and security policies. Remember when they blocked Pokemon Go from being played? They blocked it due to safety concerns.
It should then come as no surprise that China has summoned Apple Inc. into questioning for allowing streaming services that “violate four different regulations concerning internet information services”, which was reported by the state news agency Xinhua. The three streaming websites in question are toutiao, huoshanzhibo and huajiao, all of whom offer apps in the Chinese edition of Apple’s App Store.
The summoning of the tech giant is part of a crackdown on live-streaming platforms that has been popular in China since last year. Authorities are planning on urging Apple to “tighten up checks” on the apps that are available in the App Store as they cited “significant loopholes” in the services, including issues managing content, user classification and identity validation.
What this means for Apple is that China is a key market they’re unable to break into because of these restrictions. They haven’t commented on this summons as of yet.
It’s possible that China are just worried that the live-streaming apps “endanger national security and undermine social stability”. That’s why they put forward regulations last year that prohibited users from live-streaming content that they felt were violating these boundaries.
China’s strict regulations on streaming platforms late last year include banning content as users from eating bananas suggestively and wearing stockings. I’ve never eaten a banana suggestively, but I can imagine it goes a little something like this.
It hasn’t been easy for Apple in the Chinese market, having been forced to shut down its iTunes Movies and iBooks services last year, just six months after they were given permission to operate in the region. Therefore, it’s not surprising that China have gripes with Apple’s entertainment products, especially since there is strict control of Chinese media and content sharing. Hopefully the pair can work it out.