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'China' Articles

Apple and Other Tech Companies Subject to Security Reviews in China

Products sold by Apple have recently been subjected to security reviews conducted by a committee associated with China's Cyberspace Administration, reports The New York Times. The security reviews aim to determine whether the products "pose potential security threats" to China and Chinese consumers and have required Apple employees to answer questions about encryption and data storage in person. Other foreign technology companies who operate in China are also being required to submit to the reviews. According to The New York Times, the security reviews are notable because they are targeting consumer software and gadgets that are popular in China. In other countries, similar security reviews take place, but are limited to products that are used by the military or government officials. Chinese officials have not explained the reasoning behind the checks, nor have the reviews been formally disclosed, reportedly leading tech companies and the U.S. government to worry they're being used to obtain vital security info.Ultimately, the reviews could be used to block products without explanation or to extract trade secrets in exchange for market access. Those secrets could be leaked to Chinese competitors or expose vulnerabilities, which, in turn, Chinese hackers could exploit. Further, tech companies are concerned that the reviews could set a precedent and that other countries will follow suit, each demanding different checks that would not only be costly but also put the companies at risk of having to hand over further secrets in exchange for market access.It is not

Apple Updates GarageBand With New Instruments and Sounds to Celebrate Chinese Music

Apple today announced a major update to its GarageBand music creation software for Mac and iOS, adding a wide range of Chinese instruments that are designed to celebrate the "rich history of Chinese music." Today's update also includes "extensive Chinese language localization." In a press release, Apple says the update adds traditional Chinese instruments like the pipa and erhu, plus Chinese percussion offerings that include drums, wood blocks, cymbals, and gongs. 300 Apple-created Chinese musical loops have also been added to the apps. "GarageBand is the most popular music creation app in the world and we're excited to introduce these new features that incorporate the rich history of traditional Chinese music," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Product Marketing. "By adding classic Chinese instruments and new Live Loop templates, the new GarageBand app makes it fun and easy to make Chinese-inspired music right on your iPhone, iPad or Mac."The new instruments are available on both the iOS and Mac versions of GarageBand, and each instrument includes different playing articulations like rapid picking and note bend for the pipa and trill, grace note, and glissando for the erhu. Apple-created loops have been created from a wide variety of instruments and styles, including guzheng, dizi, yangqin and Peking Opera, which can be combined with the new instruments for a unique sound. GarageBand for iOS also includes two new Chinese templates for Live Loops and new sharing options for popular Chinese social networks. All of the new features in today's update

Tim Cook Visits Beijing, Shares Ride to Apple Store Using Didi Chuxing

As planned, Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Beijing on Monday for his latest visit to China, where the iPhone maker has experienced a turbulent few months. Earlier today, he caught a ride using Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing service that Apple just invested $1 billion in, alongside the Uber rival's president Jean Liu. Cook meets with Liu, left, and developers at an Apple Store in Beijing (Image: CNBC) While an earlier report said Cook plans to meet with senior Chinese government officials to discuss a range of issues, including iBooks and iTunes Movies store closures and a recent patent dispute, the CEO has thus far met with App Store developers at an Apple Store in Beijing for a seminar hosted by Liu, per CNBC.At the Apple store, Cook attended a seminar hosted by Didi Chuxing's President Jean Lui, also known as Liu Qing, and attended by the founders and CEOs of some of China's top app providers, including Groupon-like Meituan, picture-editing app MeituPic, news content provider Toutiao.com, culinary app DayDayCook and game developer Tap4Fun.Cook, who shared photos of his visit on Twitter and Weibo, understands the importance of Apple maintaining a positive image in China. "Taxi!" Caught a cab in Beijing this morning with Didi Chuxing's Jean Liu. pic.twitter.com/Sl2xnzXtNY— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 16, 2016 Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, is Apple's second largest market by revenue after the U.S. Last month, the iPhone maker reported that sales dropped 26 percent in the region in the second quarter, primarily due to declining iPhone sales as China's

Apple Invests $1 Billion in Chinese Ride-Sharing Company Didi Chuxing

Apple has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company and Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, reports Reuters. The move is a strategic investment that will help the Cupertino company better understand the Chinese market, CEO Tim Cook told Reuters. "We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market," he said. "Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well."Didi Chuxing, which has raised several billion dollars in funding, says the investment from Apple is the largest it's ever received. Didi Chuxing dominates the ride-sharing market in China, completing more than 11 million rides a day and owning 87 percent of the market in the country. Although Apple has hired many employees in recent months with automotive backgrounds, likely for its secretive Apple Car project codenamed Project Titan, Cook insists Apple is currently focused on the in-car experience. However, he did not deny what the future may have in store for a potential Apple Car. "That is what we do today in the car business," he told Reuters. "So we will have to see what the future holds." Cook also used the deal to underline Apple's confidence in the market, saying that it reflects the company's "continued confidence in the long term in China's economy." Apple's sales fell 26 percent in Greater China in the second quarter of 2016, causing Carl Icahn to sell his full stake in the company. Apple was also recently forced to take down its iTunes Movies and iBooks

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Visit China, Meet Government Officials This Month

Apple CEO Tim Cook will visit Beijing later in May to meet with high-level government officials as the company looks to counter a series of recent setbacks in the country (via Reuters). According to sources familiar with the matter, Cook plans to meet senior government and Communist Party leaders to discuss a range of issues, including weakening iPhone sales and the company's loss of control of its smartphone trademark in China, now its second biggest market. The news comes after Apple's earning call last month revealed sales fell 26 percent in greater China in the second quarter of 2016. Following the earning's call, billionaire Carl Icahn, who has been buying large amounts of Apple stock over the past three years, sold his stake in the company and expressed worries over China's attitude towards Apple. As part of his visit, Cook will also meet with officials from the Communist Party's propaganda wing, in order to address concerns after Apple fell foul of a state campaign to control online content and enforce strict localization of data storage, according to the Reuters source. Last month, Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks stores were reportedly forced offline in the country by the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. One Hong Kong-based news outlet linked the store closures to the release of controversial independent movie Ten Years, which won best picture prize at April’s Hong Kong Film Awards, despite being banned in China. The dystopian film imagines Hong Kong in 2025 with language police, mini Red Guards,

Apple Forced to Share 'iPhone' Trademark in China With Leather Accessory Maker [Updated]

Apple no longer has the exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark in China after the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favor of leather goods manufacturer Xintong Tiandi Technology earlier in March. As reported by Legal Daily [Google Translate], the decision will let the Beijing company continue to sell leather bags and cases with the brand name "IPHONE" on each cover without fear of legal blowback from Apple (via Quartz). The Cupertino company filed for a trademark of the iPhone name in China back in 2002, specifically centering around computer software and hardware, but Xintong Tiandi didn't do the same for leather goods until 2007, the year the iPhone launched in the United States. The leather case maker was granted that trademark in 2010. Following a few years of growing iPhone success, Apple decided to take the case to the Chinese trademark authority in 2012, subsequently filing a lawsuit in a lower Beijing court, and eventually losing both. Xintong Tiandi's trademarked IPHONE case The Chinese trademark authority's decision stemmed from its belief that "the general public will not link the trademark in dispute with Apple to harm its [Apple’s] interests," stating that Apple could not prove "iPhone" was a well-known brand in China before Xintong Tiandi trademarked it in 2007. Apple continued to appeal, all the way to the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court, but the final decision has come and echoes the trademark authority's conclusion that the company can't prove it was a known trademark before 2007, since Apple's iPhone didn't launch in

Report: iTunes Movies and iBooks Stores in China Ordered Closed by Chinese State Agency

Last week, the iTunes Movies and iBooks stores mysteriously went down in China. A new New York Times report says the stores were forced down by the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Initially, Apple apparently had the government’s approval to introduce the services. But then a regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, asserted its authority and demanded the closings, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.An Apple spokeswoman said the company "hoped to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible." The store closures come six months after they were launched alongside Apple Music in the country. Compared to other tech companies, Apple has had success in launching new ventures in the China. Most recently, Apple launched Apple Pay in the country in partnership with UnionPay, China's state-run interbank network. After the shutdown of the two stores, China's President Xi Jinping conducted a meeting on China's restrictive internet policies with Alibaba's Jack Ma, Huawei's Ren Zhengfei and other tech leaders in the country, according to The NYT. Daniel H. Rosen, a founding partner at Rhodium Group, a firm that specializes in the Chinese economy, tells The New York Times that China has an interest in promoting Chinese tech companies while attempting to reduce the impact of foreign tech giants like Apple in the country. Apple is one of eight companies that China has targeted for being "too deeply established in the

iTunes Movies and iBooks Store Mysteriously Go Down in China

Both iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store have gone down in China, with the digital fronts of both stores replaced with an "unavailable" message. The outage was first noticed via multiple reports on popular Chinese social network Sina Weibo (via AppleInsider). While both storefronts are experiencing outages, Apple's status page in the country indicates that all services are up and running. It's unclear what caused the outages, but AppleInsider says it received unverified reports claiming that Apple pulled the two digital storefronts because of a pending government investigation into its business practices. The mysterious outages come nearly seven months after Apple launched the iTunes Movies and iBooks Stores in the country, which marked the first time Apple's customers in China had access to its entertainment ecosystem. Apple launched Apple Music in China at the same time as iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store; Apple Music, however, has not experienced any outages. China has become increasingly important to the Cupertino company over the past couple years. After the Americas, China is Apple's second largest market in terms of

iPhone Users in China Experiencing Issues With Apple Pay [Updated]

Smartphone users in China are facing a number of system errors trying to sign up for Apple Pay after it was officially released in the country yesterday. Apple's mobile payment service became available on February 18 through a partnership with China's state-run interbank network, UnionPay. However, it appears that the sheer amount of users attempting to sign up to the platform during the first 24 hours has overloaded the system. "It kept telling me the phone 'cannot connect to Apple Pay' or the verification for the card is not available when I was linking a bankcard," said one iPhone owner, who did eventually link the card after several attempts but then "could not even open the app" to register another. Apple initially announced its intention to launch Apple Pay in China in December, with plans to make the service available in early 2016 following the "relevant tests and certification" required by Chinese regulators. China is Apple's second largest market when it comes to revenue after the americas. Deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China will see 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China eligible for use with Apple Pay. Update 6:16 AM: Apple has clarified that no official statement was given on the issues, and what has been reported by other sources has been misquoted and mistranslated. Apple says it is making Apple Pay available to Chinese users on a rolling basis throughout the

Apple Pay Now Available in China Through Partnership With UnionPay

It's now February 18 in China, and as was rumored earlier this week, the country is now the fifth location where Apple Pay is officially available. Implemented through a partnership with UnionPay, China's state-run interbank network, Apple Pay in China can be used by iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch owners with an eligible China UnionPay debit or credit card. "We think China could be our largest Apple Pay market," Apple's vice president of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, told Reuters. China is Apple's second largest market when it comes to revenue after the americas and it has become an increasingly important area of growth for Apple. The company has inked deals with 19 of the biggest lenders in China, which will see 80 percent of credit and debit cards in China eligible for use with Apple Pay. In retail locations in China, Apple Pay is available on the iPhone 6 and later and the Apple Watch at any location that has a UnionPay-compatible point-of-sale system. Within apps, Apple Pay purchases can be made using an iPhone or iPad that supports NFC, which includes the iPhone 6 and later and the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPad Pro. Apple initially announced its intention to launch Apple Pay in China in December of 2015, with plans to make the service available in early 2016 following the "relevant tests and certification" required by Chinese regulators. The first signs of Apple Pay in the country came in January, with several UnionPay users demonstrating Apple Pay in stores and in apps on YouTube, and the official launch followed today. Apple Pay is also

Apple Pay Expanding to China, Possibly France and Canada's Big Banks

Apple Pay has launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia to date, and the mobile payments service could expand to a fifth country this week: China. A customer service representative for China's Guangfa Bank, using the bank's public WeChat account, appears to have confirmed that Apple Pay will officially go live in the world's most populous country on February 18 at 5:00 a.m. local time. (Image: Sina via Tech in Asia) Apple previously announced that Apple Pay will expand to China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay, a state-run interbank network that holds a monopoly on the country's credit and debit card processing. UnionPay cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad -- the latter for in-app purchases only. iOS 9.2 or watchOS 2.1 or later will be required, according to the screenshot. In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple reached deals with China's big four state-run banks, including the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China, to launch its iPhone-based payments service in the country. The report said Apple Pay could launch by the weeklong Chinese New Year, which concluded on February 13. That prospective date has since passed, but a pair of YouTube videos surfaced in January that appeared to show Apple Pay working with UnionPay bank cards in China for both in-store and in-app purchases. It is possible that Apple soft launched Apple Pay in China with select participating issuers in order to test the payments service, ahead of

Angela Ahrendts Says She Views Apple Store Staff as 'Executives'

Angela Ahrendts spoke yesterday to Fast Company about her first two years as Apple's retail chief and her strategy to improve the company's customer experience at its global chain of retail stores. In an interview titled "Apple's Angela Ahrendts On What It Takes To Make Change Inside A Successful Business," the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores explains that, in her first six months at Apple, she travelled to 40 different markets and met with retail leaders to learn about how stores were "uniting people and getting them to collaborate." When asked if Apple Store staff feel the same pride working for the company as Cupertino employees do, Ahrendts boasted about the company's 81% retention rate in 2015: We just ended the year with the highest retention rates we’ve ever had: 81%. And the feedback [from Apple Store employees is that it’s] because they feel connected. They feel like one Apple. They don’t feel like they’re just somebody over here working with customers. I don’t see them as retail employees. I see them as executives in the company who are touching the customers with the products that Jony Ive and the team took years to build. Somebody has to deliver it to the customer in a wonderful way.Ahrendts goes on to explain that her experience at Apple has taught her just how strong the culture is within the company, which was "built to change people's lives", and that the same core value is being continued by Apple's current CEO Tim Cook: That foundation, that service mentality, that drive to continue to change lives — that is a core value in the

New Apple Store Set to Open in China's Largest Luxury Shopping Mall

Apple has announced that its 33rd retail store in China will open in Qingdao, a port city bordering the East China Sea, on Saturday, January 30 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store will be located in the new MixC luxury shopping mall, the largest in China, on 6 Shandong Road in the city's coastal Shinan District. A render of the MixC shopping mall in Qingdao, China MixC Qingdao is an expansive plaza with over 400 popular fashion stores, dining restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities, including an indoor theme park with a rollercoaster. The mall also includes an Olympic size ice skating rink and the most expensive cinema in China with IMAX and 4D. The new store will be open between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time on weekdays, and between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. on weekends. Apple has aggressively expanded in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with new stores in Xiamen on January 14, Shenyang on January 9, Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple also opened stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Tianjin in 2015. China is Apple's second biggest market by total revenue after the Americas. The company experienced 99% year-over-year revenue growth in Greater China, which includes China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2015. China will likely eclipse the U.S. as Apple's biggest market by 2017 if the growth

Apple Pay Seemingly Nearing Launch in China With UnionPay

A pair of new videos appear to show Apple Pay working with UnionPay bank cards in China for both in-store and in-app purchases. In the first video, a customer appears able to select a UnionPay card in Apple Pay and hold his iPhone near a QuickPass-enabled Verifone payment terminal to complete a purchase at McDonald's. The terminal says "transaction completed" and the self-checkout kiosk proceeds to print a paper receipt. The second video appears to show an iPhone user selecting a UnionPay card in Apple Pay and making an in-app purchase within Chinese travel app Ctrip. The transaction looks to be secured with Touch ID and approved. The veracity of either of the two videos cannot be confirmed, but the timing makes sense. Last month, Apple announced that Apple Pay will expand to China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay, a state-run interbank network that holds a monopoly on the country's credit and debit card processing. UnionPay cardholders will be able to use Apple Pay on iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad -- the latter for in-app purchases only."Apple Pay has revolutionized the way millions of people pay every day with their iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "China is an extremely important market for Apple and with China UnionPay and support from 15 of China's leading banks, users will soon have a convenient, private and secure payment experience."China will be the fifth country to adopt Apple Pay since its U.S. launch in October 2014. The mobile payments service expanded to the

Apple to Open Yet Another Two Chinese Stores in Guangzhou and Nanjing

Apple has announced that its 31st and 32nd retail stores in China will open in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu, and Guangzhou on Saturday, January 16 and Thursday, January 28 respectively. Both stores will open at 10:00 a.m. local time. The first store will be located in the IST shopping mall at 100 Zhongshan Road in Nanjing's Xuanwu District, while the Guangzhou store will open at the Parc Central retail development at 218 Tianhe Road in the city's Tianhe District. Parc Central retail development render in Guangzhou, China (Image: Benoy) The new stores will be open Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, and each will offer a Genius Bar and other traditional Apple Store services. Apple is quickly approaching its goal of opening 40 new retail stores in China. The locations will mark Apple's 27th and 28th retail stores in mainland China, while the company also operates four retail stores in Hong Kong. Apple has aggressively expanded its footprint in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with new stores in Xiamen on January 14, Shenyang on January 9, Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple opened its first retail store in Nanjing, alongside new stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Tianjin, throughout

Apple's 30th Retail Store in China Opens in Xiamen on January 14

Apple has announced that its 30th retail store in China opens in Xiamen, a major port city along the Taiwan Strait, on Thursday, January 14 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store will be located in the SM Lifestyle Center shopping mall at 399 Jiahe Road in the city's southeastern Siming District. SM Lifestyle Center in Xiamen, China (Image: What's On Xiamen) The new store will be open Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, and offer traditional Apple Store services, including the Genius Bar, Workshops, JointVenture, events and seminars. It will mark Apple's 26th retail store in mainland China, while the company also operates four retail stores in Hong Kong. Apple has aggressively expanded its footprint in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with new stores in Shenyang on January 9, Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple also opened retail stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Tianjin throughout

Apple's Next Chinese Retail Store Opens in Shenyang on January 9

Apple has announced that its 29th retail store in China opens in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning, on Saturday, January 9 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store will be located in the MixC shopping mall at 288 Qingnian Street in Shenyang's Heping District. The new store will be open Monday to Sunday between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time, and offer traditional Apple Store services, including the Genius Bar, Workshops, JointVenture, events and seminars. MixC shopping mall in Shenyang, China (Image: RTKL) This new MixC location in Shenyang will mark Apple's 25th retail store in mainland China, and the company also operates four retail stores in Hong Kong. Shenyang is located about 250 miles (402 km) northeast of Dalian, a major port city in southern Liaoning where Apple's 21st retail store in China opened on October 24, 2015. Apple has aggressively expanded its footprint in China under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, having opened new stores in Nanning on December 12, Beijing on November 28 and Chengdu on November 21. Apple also opened retail stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Tianjin throughout

Apple's Next Chinese Retail Store Opens in Nanning on December 12

Apple has announced that its 28th retail store in China opens Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 p.m. local time. The store will be located in the MixC shopping mall at 136 Minzu Avenue in Nanning's Qingxiu District. MixC shopping mall in Nanning, China (Image: WeekendNotes) The new store will be open between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time on Monday-Thursday and Sunday, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday, and offer traditional Apple Store services, including the Genius Bar, Workshops and JointVenture. Apple has aggressively expanded its retail footprint in China under the leadership of Angela Ahrendts, having opened new stores in Beijing on November 28, Chengdu on November 21 and Dalian on October 24. Apple has also opened retail stores in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Tianjin over the past

Apple Pay Expected to Launch in China by February 2016

Apple plans to launch Apple Pay in mainland China before the weeklong Spring Festival starting February 8, 2016, also known as the Chinese New Year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report claims Apple recently reached deals with China's big four state-run banks to launch Apple Pay, but the iPhone maker could still face regulatory hurdles in the country. China's big four state-run commercial banks include the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China. Alipay and Tenpay are currently the two largest electronic payment platforms in China, with nearly 64% combined market share, according to the report, citing research firm Analysys. China's only interbank network UnionPay holds a monopoly on the country's credit and debit card processing, effectively blocking MasterCard and Visa. The state-run organization does offer some credit cards affiliated with American Express, MasterCard or Visa for use abroad.One Chinese developer who has seen the latest beta version of Apple’s mobile-operating system said logos for China’s UnionPay can be found within the package. China UnionPay Co. press officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.Apple is committed to an international expansion of Apple Pay, having launched the mobile payments service in Australia and Canada last week in partnership with American Express. Apple Pay is also coming to Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain in 2016. China has also been an oft-rumored candidate for Apple Pay. Apple CEO Tim Cook told Chinese news agency Xinhua in

Apple's Fifth Retail Store in Beijing Opens November 28

Apple has announced that its fifth retail store in Beijing, and 27th in China, opens Saturday, November 28 at 10 AM local time. The store will be located in the new Chaoyang Joy City shopping mall at 101 Chaoyang North Road in Beijing's city proper Chaoyang District. Chaoyang Joy City shopping mall in Beijing, China (Image: Shotamuni) The new store will be open 10 AM-10 PM local time everyday and offer traditional Apple Store services, including the Genius Bar, Workshops, JointVenture, events and seminars. Apple's four other retail stores in Beijing are located at China Central Mall, Sanlitun, Wangfujing and Xidan Joy City. Apple has opened more than seven new retail stores in China this year, including locations in Chongqing, Dalian, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Tianjin. The company is committed to expanding its footprint in China, an increasingly important market, under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts. Apple opened a new store in Chengdu, China on November 21, less than a month after opening a new Dalian, China store on October