Apple faces Beijing cyber-regulators over live streaming apps

Chinese cyber-regulators are concerned that some apps on iTunes breach China's rules.
REGIS DUVIGNAU/REUTERS

Chinese cyber-regulators are concerned that some apps on iTunes breach China's rules.

Internet regulators in China will summon Apple to tell the American firm to tighten its checks on apps especially live-streaming applications available in its Apple Store.

It is the latest in a series of encroachments on the iPhone maker's services in Asia's largest economy.

The US tech firm is turning to selling more apps and services in China amid falling sales and rising competition from domestic smartphone makers.

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Apple confirmed this year that it removed the New York Times English- and Chinese-language news apps from its iTunes store in China following a request from authorities.

Now the city of Beijing's Cyberspace Administration is summoning Apple to ask that it subject Chinese news and live-streaming services to more stringent app reviews to ensure they conform to regulations, the agency said Wednesday in a statement on its WeChat social media account.

The Beijing Cyberspace Administration, together with the Beijing Public Security Bureau and Beijing Cultural Market Administrative Law Enforcement Team, has already met representatives from Apple about the examination of live streaming apps from its app store.

Apple in Beijing could not be reached for comment after normal business hours.

The Beijing Cyberspace Administration and the other two departments separately ordered three domestic live-streaming websites to rectify management loopholes, Xinhua said.

China's fast-growing live-streaming market produced revenues of more than 30 billion yuan (US$4.36 billion) last year, according to investment bank China Renaissance Securities, even as regulators have clamped down on sites that provide illegal content, including pornography.

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 - Reuters

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