Last year China was listed as one of the markets where Apple was seeing the most sales, with the country coming in second to the U.S. as far as iTunes revenue is concerned.
As things were beginning to take shape for Cupertino with respect to this region, it has emerged that two crucial Apple services have been suspended by the Chinese government. iTunes Movies and iBooks are no longer accessible to users of iOS devices in China, something that is causing havoc in Cupertino’s Chinese camp.
So far no statement has been issued by Apple regarding the current status of these services in the country. However, reports coming from China claim that this shutting down took place last week and it has been so since then, with users unable to access their iBooks and movie services.
Without mentioning a thing about the date these services will be back, an Apple spokeswoman in China said that the company is working to ensure that “books and movies [services] are available to our customers as soon as possible.” Furthermore, the spokeswoman said nothing about why the Chinese authorities were having issues with the iTunes Movies and iBooks services in the country. Just like Apple, the Chinese government has remained mum on the matter too.
The Apple team in China says that the company did not serve them with any notice prior to this decision, however, the furious users who had already paid for the services will be served with refunds in due time.
Ever since the 2013 iPhone was launched in China’s mainland, the country had grown to become a major source of income for the American tech company. With millions of people in China now using Apple devices and probably subscribed to these services, it will be a huge blow to Apple’s efforts to conquer the world with the iPhone. The closing down of iTunes Movies and iBooks comes just close to 7 months since the services were first availed in the country. Just recently, Cupertino expanded its Apple Pay services to China.
The fact that iTunes Movies is no more means Chinese users of iOS devices can no longer buy or rent movies from Hollywood blockbusters or even local Chinese studios. Users will also be denied the chance to access reading material via the iBooks platform, whether free or paid for.