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China bans Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies

Apple iBooks Store now banned in China, next to iTunes Movies
Apple iBooks Store
The ban arrives only six months after the two services reached the local market, but Apple Pay and Apple Music are still available in China for now.

Six months ago, Apple has launched iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store on the Chinese market, apparently after obtaining the government's approval for this move. Unfortunately, while other services like Apple Pay and Apple Music continue to work as before, the stores for books and movies are now down and might not come back at least for a while.

According to two insiders familiar with the situation who spoke to The New York Times, "a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings." Unfortunately, these sources did not reveal any details concerning the reason of this move by the Chinese authorities.

An Apple spokeswoman said "We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible," but did not get into any details about the reasons behind this ban. Obviously, it is not possible to estimate when will these services be available in China once again, either.

While the services unit only accounts for 3 percent of Apple's revenue, it is a growing part of the company. Fortunately, Apple Pay and Apple Music are still up in China, so the impact of this ban will probably be minimal. We will get back to this topic as soon as we hear more about it, so stay tuned.


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Codrut Nistor, 2016-04-22 (Update: 2016-04-23)