Apple developers have made a ton of money, even if there is not a lot of foreign technology in the so-called Great Firewall of China. Speaking at a Chinese public cyber policy forum, Apple executives Tim Cook stated that developers in China have earned around 112 billion yuan, which is around $16.93 billion. This statistic is 25% of the total earnings made by Apple store (which is around $70 billion).
Chinese market houses around 1.8 million developers who work on Apple platform. Moreover, China is the third largest market, when it comes to sales. The tech giant is still struggling to maintain a competitive edge in Asia. A major reason is the availability of high-end mobile phones from local companies at competitive costs. However, with the recent launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone X, it seems there is some sort of respite for Apple, and it may just find its way back to the top.
Unlike local Chinese developers, many foreign and even American developers have a completely contrasting story to tell about their earnings. Furthermore, Apple has come under scrutiny for complying with demands from the Chinese government officials; their demands were to remove hundreds of apps. The apps include messaging apps and VPN services that can potentially sneak past the strict internet controls in China.
A spokesperson from Apple said, “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. There these apps have been removed from the app store in China.”
The spokesperson added that these apps will certainly be available in other markets where the company is doing business. Cook has made several trips to China and has even met President Xi Jinping. The future of Apple in China is still uncertain, though.