Last week, Apple’s iBookStore was shut down and the ability to buy movies on iTunes discontinued in China, reports The New York Times.
Six months ago, it seemed that Apple had the government’s approval to introduce the services. However, then a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings, says The Times, attributing “two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”
“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” an Apple spokeswoman told the publication in a statement.
China is an exceedingly important market for Apple. China’s quarterly iOS revenue grew nearly 2.2x year-over-year from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, mostly from in-app purchases within mobile games, according to the “App Annie Index Market Q1 2016."
Apple currently has 32 retail stores in China. Apple Pay arrived in the country last November. And the iPhone’s share of the Chinese smartphone market is around 16%.