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China Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet Apple Technology

A Tip for Apple in China: Your Hunger for Revenue May Cost You (wsj.com) 57

Li Yuan, writing for the WSJ: Apple's latest predicament centers on its App Store. Last month, Apple told several Chinese social-networking apps, including the wildly popular messaging platform WeChat, to disable their "tip" functions to comply with App Store rules (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source), according to executives at WeChat and other companies. That function allows users to send authors and other content creators tips, from a few yuan to hundreds, via transfers from mobile-wallet accounts. Those transfers are offered by the social-networking apps free of charge, as a way to inspire user engagement. Now, those tips will be considered in-app purchases, just like buying games, music and videos, entitling Apple to a 30% cut. For Apple, which has been observing slowing growth in mature markets, China is increasingly becoming important. But the company's my way or high-way approach might hurt the company's image in China. And that image as well as fortunes of local companies, is what the Chinese authorities deeply care about. As Yuan adds, "while it's understandable that Apple wants to tap the App Store for more money, its pressure on the app platforms risks alienating powerful Chinese companies, turning off Chinese iPhone users and drawing unnecessary attention from the regulators." Executives of these IM messaging apps tell WSJ that Apple has threatened that it would kick their apps out of the App Store if they don't comply. The problem is, WeChat is way more popular in China than Apple -- or its iPhones or its services or both combined, analysts say. WeChat is insanely popular in China, and people love to use the app to pay for things they purchase and send money to friends. Apple's greed could end up resulting in millions of new Android users, analysts said.
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A Tip for Apple in China: Your Hunger for Revenue May Cost You

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  • That's it

    • If Tencent will distribute weixin through "rooted only" app stores, I bet they will not loose much users

    • I've never used WeChat, but it should roll out an app update today where the "tip" function opens a dialog box to tie a default Android device to the user's account. If the user doesn't have one, it should open a web page on promoted Android tablets and handsets. After the tie, the "tip" function completes from Android.
  • What's the deal with all the WSJ links lately?
    • WSJ is paying people to post here? </conspiracytheory>
    • Re:WSJ links (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msmash ( 4491995 ) Works for Slashdot <asteriskspace@outlook.com> on Friday May 19, 2017 @01:42PM (#54449721)
      Hey, WSJ has been doing some exceptional reporting (I'm only talking about tech) lately. We still try to avoid paywalled sources -- WSJ, NYTimes, FT, AFR -- and sites that have policy against ad-blocking -- Wired, for one. But when these websites have exclusive coverage of something (or best reportage/analysis), we can't ignore them. Think of NYTimes' exclusive on Uber's greyballing, WSJ's Theranos coverage. In such cases, we see if any syndicated partner has the same story, but more often than not, they don't post thing for two-three days (and they don't post all the stories). We still scan through other outlets that have rewrote the story and see which one makes the best case. Should we do something differently? We're always listening.
  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @01:41PM (#54449715)

    The number of companies that bow to pressure to enter the Chinese and Indian markets because of volume, is precisely the same as the number of companies who have declining margins and increasing obsolescence and who get their asses kicked by companies local to (mostly) China. Yes, there are many persons in those country, but they are not rich and they are not good for high margin, premium products. At the same time, I do not know of any company who can simultaneously feed the premium product and the value product efficiently: they either sacrifice one for the other creating mediocrity, or else function as two companies in both technology and business (marketing, sales).

    These markets should be avoided at all costs, once you let them in the door they will bleed you dry. If Apple wants to enter China as a value product line, they need to bifurcate and create a lower end product line with a unique brand. Wealthy Chinese will continue to prefer Apple because they know better, whereas the masses, whom Wall St. interests want to cater to, want it but will by the fake Apple brand (Fapple?) if it can deliver superior value to evil bastards like Huawei.

    Under no circumstances should any concessions be made for Huawei or products like what they offer. Like Microsoft they are a company that needs to stop existing, be chopped into many pieces and buried at equidistant locations on the earth, no less than 1 mile below the surface with eternally vigilant hell hounds guarding all exits, lest they break free and condemn us all to an eternity of hellfire.

  • YUCC !!!!

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Friday May 19, 2017 @02:01PM (#54449881)

    "Nothing our 280 Billion $ in the bank can't handle. Here, check out our new iPhone ..."

    And everybody: "Oooooh, shiny!"

    • "Nothing our 280 Billion $ in the bank can't handle. Here, check out our new iPhone ..."

      And everybody: "Oooooh, shiny!"

      I take it you've never been to China. iPhone is a bit player and their market share is declining [cnbc.com] in China. 'Ooooh shiny' might work on stupid American teenagers, but the Chinese are a little more savvy.

  • Apples image is suffering!

    Let's run out and bury ourselves in the hills!
    • Apples image is suffering! Let's run out and bury ourselves in the hills!

      Can I bring my iPhone into the hills?

  • Wechat is popular in China because that's all they've got. Their access to most other social and communication platforms (bot US and other Asian like LINE, for example) is blocked. So, of course Wechat is "more popular" - it runs on all phones in China, Android and iOS.
    Making any conclusions based on that, and in particular deriving the "Chinese love Wechat" from these numbers, would be a mistake.

    • Their access to most other social and communication platforms (bot US and other Asian like LINE, for example) is blocked.

      This is typical example of arrogant commentators brainwashed by Western media.

      Chinese have for long long time free accessed to MSN, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, etc. But those apps still can't compete QQ and WeChat, because foreigner apps don't really understand the Chinese culture. (MSN managed to cringe on the 3rd place mostly due to Windows monopoly.)

    • Making any conclusions based on that, and in particular deriving the "Chinese love Wechat" from these numbers, would be a mistake.

      So what's your explanation for Thai, Philippine, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Indonesians also using Wechat heavily?
      I've spent a fair bit of time all over South East Asia and Wechat is the the most popular app everywhere I go. Even back home, when shoulder surfing on the bus or train I see a lot of Wechat users from different Asian countries.

  • There is no new lesson here. If you become Too Big, then nobody, not the US government, not the Chinese government, and not even Apple Inc, can dare to kill you, because whoever try would create huge trouble and mess for themselves. In fact, those other entities would have to come rescue you in case you are in trouble -- check out the banks circa 2008.

    That's why everybody want to be too big to fail.

  • The App Store is a desert, sadly, and Apple has given it no love for years. It's still a horrible tool to find apps and its search is pathetic. Xcode is a straight jacket and Swift keeps changing all the time. The two apps I wrote (one on iOS and the other for macOS) will be my last that get submitted to the App Store. Developers are voting with their feet and choosing not to distribute things via the App Store any more. My next phone is going to be an Android anyway because iOS and the iPhone are bitches.

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. - Al Capone

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