Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Office of Apple said that the 1.8 million developers using its platform in China have earned a total 112 billion yuan ($16.93 billion), representing almost 25% of global App Store earnings.
Cook shared the data in Wuzhen, China during a speech at China’s top public cyber policy forum, organized by the Cyber Security Administration of China (CAC), which oversees all internet policies and regulations, including those that relate to censorship.
Earlier this year, Apple said that developers had earned roughly $70 billion in total revenue through the store.
Apple is facing criticism from both local users and human rights groups for bowing to pressure from China’s cyber regulators after it remove hundreds of apps from its Chinese store this year. App’s that were removed included messaging apps as well as apps for virtual private networks (VPN) that help mainland China users subvert China’s Great Firewall and access websites that are banned in China. Most recently, video conferencing and calling service Skype was removed from the App Store as well as from many Chinese app stores.
Apple counts China as its third-largest region by sales, but it has lost both brand prestige and market share in recent years as high-end handsets from local rivals continue to gain traction. Many of these smartphones provide similar technical specifications and features as the company’s iPhone series but at lower cost. Apple is hoping that its new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models that began shipping in November will help it to regain momentum and increase Apple’s market share and revenue in 2018.
Said a spokesperson for Apple China ... “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of Voice Over Internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China, but these apps remain available in all other markets where we do business.”