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.

apple tv 4k design triad
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.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: China
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

nicho Avatar
17 months ago
So I may or may not be in mainland China and I may or may not have an Apple TV from outside the mainland.

When I first got it (or didn't get it) the App store just wouldn't work. I signed in (or didn't) using a UK app store account, and it just wouldn't connect. I gave up and used it for Airplay only (my TV supports airplay, but adds 15 second adverts whenever you airplay to it)

Recently, I was (or wasn't) able to add the UK app store account to a second user and then download Infuse from the app store. And it worked perfectly when I switched back to my main user with a Chinese app store account - I was even able to restore the purchase of my subscription [edit: made on iOS, on the Chinese app store] from it.

TL;DR - some artificial blocks on functions have been lifted in the recent past. It could mean something. It could not.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
17 months ago

Update: The leaker has posted ('https://m.weibo.cn/status/4630190700106091?') saying he apologizes for "exposing" the information about Apple TV. A launch is always possible, however, the blogger seems to have backed down from his previous claim.
I was about to call this BS until I read this line. The Update should be at the top of the content. Not bottom.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
machpost Avatar
17 months ago
Keep in mind, 1.4 million followers in China is like 1.4 thousand followers in any other part of the world.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
17 months ago
Never thought I’d say this but I actually thought about buying the Google TV product recently (€70 here) mainly for YouTube, but second thoughts now as I don’t believe it has airplay mirroring where I can mirror my Mac or iPhone display without doing some hack or smtn. Not streaming but mirroring. What is putting me off Apple TV 4K is I want A12 for future proofing, but then it’s €200. Should be much cheaper, grrr. Honestly should be max €99 for what it is. Certainly not €200. Gruber should be criticising them for the price of it as every other tech commentator is. It’s a ripoff.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sakurarain Avatar
17 months ago
all the apps will be banned on this China-specified device, except for one app called "CCTV news":D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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