The chief executive officer of Apple, Tim Cook, has disclosed that Chinese developers who now number approximately 1.8 million have made $16.93 billion on its platform. This is roughly 25% of the earnings on App Store globally. Cook revealed the data while giving a speech on China which had been organized by CAC – Cybersecurity Administration of China, a body responsible for overseeing internet regulation in the world’s most populous nation. Earlier in the year Apple had disclosed that $70 billion had been remitted to developers who sold their apps through its platform.
Cook’s revelation comes at a time when Apple is facing criticism from rights groups and local users for agreeing to the demands of China’s cyber regulators. This follows a decision by the Cupertino, California-based tech giant to delete hundreds of apps which were on its Chinese store earlier in the year. The apps include VPN services which are used to evade the so-called Great Firewall of China as well as messaging apps.
In terms of sales China is Apple’s third-biggest region though the iPhone maker’s market share has reduced in recent years in the face of the proliferation of less-expensive high-end smartphones from local Chinese manufacturers. Apple is counting on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 to regain momentum in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Additionally Apple has moved the data of its Chinese users to the servers of a partner based in Guizhou province as part of its efforts to conform with domestic laws in China. Cook has also visited China severally in the course of the year. In one such visit two months ago Cook together with other executives met the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. In the CAC-organized cyber policy forum, other executives drawn from American tech firms who are attending besides Cook include Sundar Pichai, the chief executive officer of Google.
macOS High Sierra
This comes in the wake of mounting problems with regards to Apple’s macOS High Sierra software. Earlier last week it was discovered that it was possible to access the administrator privileges on computers running the operating system without being required to key in a password. It was fixed in under 24 hours with Apple promising to audit its development processes.
“We greatly regret this error and we apologize to all Mac users, both for releasing with this vulnerability and for the concern it has caused. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes to help prevent this from happening again,” said Apple in a statement.