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Observer: 'Arrogant' Apple Abuses Powers of App Store

Legal actions must be taken to protect the rights and interests of developers whose apps are removed from Apple's app store without good reason, says an IT observer.

By Xu Mouquan Updated Apr.19

Apple's market monopoly over its app store is an unfair advantage, and legal action should be taken to prevent it removing apps in China, claims Ji Yongqing, an observer of the IT industry, at baijia.baidu.com

Apple's app store, introduced in 2008, has driven mobile growth worldwide. About 13.3 percent of the over 1.7 million apps available in China are either made by Chinese developers or have been localized in China, Ji writes. But, he claimed, Apple is abusing its power to remove apps, which can cause a huge financial loss for apps with a large user base. According to statistics cited by Ji, Apple removes 100,000 apps each month.

Ji claimed that Apple removed apps without 'rightful or lawful reasons," that it removed apps based on complaints from American IP holders that don't comply with Chinese law, and that it exercised a monopoly by forcing all apps to be purchased through its own application. 

Ji went on to slam Apple for its 'arrogance' as a multinational company, saying it hadn't t paid enough attention to whether its business practices in China comply with laws and regulations. He argued that only through lawsuits could the lawful rights and interests and Chinese developers be better protected. The ultimate purpose is to make the rules of the App Store more transparent, which would help Apple's long-term development in China. 

Critics pointed out that Apple is a private firm, which has every legal right to remove anything it wants from its own platform, that the mobile industry is not a monopoly since numerous alternative operating systems, most commonly Android, are available, and that Apple, as a US-based firm, naturally applies American IP law to ensure consistency across the platform.