Economic review

Apple faces legal complaints over store rules: reports

2017-08-09 08:53:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times


Apple Inc is likely to face a messy fight in China, as dozens of Chinese app developers and lawyers are poised to file formal complaints with relevant government agencies to challenge what they have said are illegal actions of the company's App Store against Chinese companies.

In a meeting on Monday, some domestic app developers and lawyers alleged that Apple's App Store has engaged in potentially illegal activities in its operation, including copyright infringement and monopolistic behavior, Beijing Business Today reported.

The developers and lawyers said they would formally file complaints on Monday with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, which enforce antitrust laws in the country, the report said.

The Global Times couldn't confirm the complaint was actually filed with the agencies as planned on Monday.

The developers and lawyers claimed that Apple's App Store unilaterally removed apps developed by Chinese developers without providing a reasonable explanation and discriminated against Chinese developers by giving different treatment to complaints from Chinese developers and those from foreign developers. They claimed that Apple had also failed to provide Chinese translations of some rules.

They said that Apple forces consumers to make in-app purchases through its platforms and overcharges for such services by taking 30 percent or some other percentage of the payment.

"[Such actions] have potentially hurt the legal rights of app developers, operators and consumers," they claimed, according to the Beijing Business Today report. The report added that as many as 28 domestic app developers have provided evidence for the complaint.

Lawyers for the group and Apple could not be reached by Global Times for comment as of press time on Tuesday.