Apple TV Launch in Mainland China Reportedly Imminent [Updated]
Apple TV has received the proper and needed regulatory approval to officially launch in mainland China, according to sources across Chinese social media platform Weibo and popular local tech blogger @Voooolks.
According to the blogger, who has more than 1.4 million followers on Weibo, Apple TV has received approval from China's State Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film, and Television to launch in the country. A rumor earlier this month indicated that Apple TV was under review by the state agency.
The news of a possible imminent launch of Apple TV in China comes almost a week following the announcement of a new, more powerful Apple TV. Last week Apple unveiled an updated Apple TV with the more powerful A12 Bionic chip and a redesigned Apple TV remote.
China adheres to a strict set of rules regarding the flow of content within its borders. Like all international companies wishing to operate with Chinese customers, Apple must abide by and follow the local law.
Even with current services and products in China, such as the App Store, content is regulated to a strict set of standards. If Apple TV were to launch in China, it would likely be limited in functionality besides basic features such as AirPlay 2 and other native Apple features. Content availability with popular channels and apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and others won't be available, under current local law.
Even in a limited scope, an Apple TV launch in China would play to Apple's growing role in the country. CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives often call China an increasingly important market where competition is fierce with local companies such as Huwaei. In conjunction with a loyal consumer base, China contuines to serve as Apple's major production hub.
Update: The leaker has posted saying he apologizes for "exposing" the information about Apple TV. A launch is always possible, but the blogger seems to have backed down from his original claim.