The feel-good relationship between Apple and the government of China is suddenly in serious jeopardy after the country shut down Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies. The New York Times reports that the move comes six months after the services launched in China.
“Initially, Apple apparently had the government’s approval to introduce the services,” The Times reports. “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.”
In a statement, an Apple spokeswoman said: “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible.”
The Times adds: “The about-face is startling, given Apple’s record in China. Unlike many other American tech companies, Apple has succeeded in introducing several new products — like its mobile payments system Apple Pay — in China recently. New resistance from the Chinese government to that expansion could potentially hurt the Cupertino, Calif., company.”