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Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies shutdown in China

by Killian Bell | April 22, 2016April 22, 2016 4:03 am PST

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Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies have been shutdown in China. The move comes after Beijing introduced new regulations for online publishing last month, but Apple says that it hopes to make the services available again soon.

China’s new regulations impose “strict curbs on online publishing, particularly for foreign films,” according to Reuters, which confirmed that both the iBooks Store and iTunes Movies were “unusable” when visiting from China.

Sources for The New York Times say the services were reportedly shutdown by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, China’s media regulator. Apple hasn’t confirmed exactly what’s behind the blackout, but it hopes to resolve it.

“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” said a spokeswoman for the Cupertino company.

China has become Apple’s second-largest market by revenue, behind only the United States, and it’s thought it could well become its biggest in the near future. That’s mostly thanks to the iPhone, which has become wildly popular there as growth slows in the West.

However, not everyone in China likes Apple’s smartphone. The government is concerned that the iPhone could be a danger to national security, and Apple has already been forced to host all of its content for the China market on local servers.

China has also shutdown the Apple News service. Its latest crackdown on Apple services comes just seven months after the iBooks Store and iTunes Movies made its debut there.

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...