Apple has setback in China as both the iBooks Store and iTunes closed by state regulator
The news comes out only days before Apple is set to report its earnings on April 26, one day later than previously announced
The iTunes and iBooks stores have been shuttered in China by the regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The actual closing occurred days ago, but word of the closing took a while to reach the US media. It is not good news for a tech company expected to have one of its least impressive earnings reports in a long time next week.
“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” an Apple spokeswoman told the select few media outlets the company will talk to. No notice of the closings was posted on the company’s website, and certainly no press release issued.
At issue, of course, is control of the content available to China’s citizens. The iTunes and iBooks Stores are basically the wild west when it comes to both what can be found there and its organization and maintenance.
For Apple, China remains the one really strong segment of its business. Last quarter, Apple reported that business in Greater China grew 14 percent, while its business in the Americas and Japan declined 4 percent and 12 percent respectively.
Growth in China for media content sales was certainly something both the company and investors were counting on in order to sustain the company’s growth and profits.
Earlier this week Apple leaked that it would move back by one day its earnings report, from April 25 to April 26. No reason was given for this, and no press release issued regarding the change until today, several days after the news was generally known (no one quite knows what Apple’s press team does for a living).