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China Becomes a Leading Force in App Development, Says Apple’s China Chief

She reiterated Apple’s long-time commitment in protecting users’ privacy and data security

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US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an
Accurate Map of China. Pixabay

Ten years after US tech giant Apple Inc launched its App Store, the number of Chinese developers tops 2.2 million and they have become a leading force in app development, said Apple’s China chief.

“Chinese app developers are leading the world in terms of app downloads and revenue, and have grown to be a very admirable community of innovators,” Isabel Ge Mahe (Ge Yue), Apple’s Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, told Xinhua on the sideline of the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 on Sunday.

“Through Apple’s App Store, their products have entered the global stage and many of them have become successful cases internationally.”

She citied the global success of short video sharing app TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, and the apps developed by China’s Palace Museum, as examples of China’s innovative ability.

TikTok has 75 language versions and is liked by users from over 150 countries and regions, while the 11 apps developed by the Palace Museum have been downloaded by over 5 million users across the world.

She said Apple’s China team had taken a series of steps to encourage home-grown apps to go global and used its experience and resources to help promote them to the global market.

“In the area of mobile Internet, China has become a spotlight of the world,” Ge said. “We are proud to make our contributions to China in this digital age and work with Chinese partners for innovative development in the industry.”

Apple has launched four R&D centers in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou, employing a total of over 1,000 people dedicated to innovation in hardware, software and services, Ge said.

Apple, Tim Cook, Campus, China
Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, California. VOA

The Apple China chief also hailed the smooth progress of the construction of Apple’s first China data centre in Guiyang, adding that Apple had received tremendous support from the local government in the project.

Jointly built by Apple and Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Company, the Guizhou facility, with a budget of 1 billion US dollars, began construction in March. It will be Apple’s third after the data centres in the US and Denmark.

From February 28 last year, Apple’s iCloud services on the Chinese mainland started to be operated by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Company, a move Ge said helped provide better services for Chinese Apple users.

She reiterated Apple’s long-time commitment in protecting users’ privacy and data security.

“There is absolutely no so-called backdoor in Apple products,” said Ge. “Protecting privacy is our top priority in designing Apple products and services.”

Apple has also been an active promoter of using digital technology in bridging the gap in educational resources and aiding China’s fight against poverty, according to Ge.

Also Read- India Witnesses a Huge Drop in Mobile Speeds in April

In 2018, Apple launched a programme to provide digitalised pre-school and vocational education to students in less developed areas in China, with a donation of 25 million yuan ($3.7 million) to the China Development Research Foundation.

“We firmly believe that education is the best way to improve people’s livelihoods and tackle inequalities in development,” Ge said. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

As people become increasingly aware of social media’s harm, social media will lose its lustre

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook which accounts for 75 per cent of global ad spend that is likely to hit $110 billion by 2020 is nowhere near an immediate demise and government regulations would only strengthen the social networking giant in the short term, a new Forrester research has forecast.

However, Facebook’s push to become China’s WeChat — more than a messaging app and is full of capabilities to make life easier for its one billion users — would be its undoing.

Facebook‘s no-good-very-bad 2018 may have meant an overworked PR team but the social media behemoth is doing just fine.

It continues to report steady user and revenue growth: a 9 per cent year over year increase in users in Q4 2018 and a 30 per cent increase in revenue in the same time-frame.

“The three parties that could impact Facebook the most — users, brands and regulators — will move too slowly for it to feel any instant impact,” said Jessica Liu, Senior Analyst, Forrester.

The coming years won’t be easier, but the social media behemoth won’t suddenly collapse either, as many predict.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

“But while Facebook’s short-term outlook might be fine, its long-term outlook is bleak,” Liu added

Despite constant negative news last year, Facebook continued to report strong quarter-

over-quarter user and revenue growth. Brands that mishandle their own users’ data and fail to inform them typically falter.

While these users and advertisers could affect change at the social media giant immediately, they won’t, thus allowing it to continue to defy the odds.

“Enacting and enforcing regulation takes so long that Facebook will be able to shore up its assets and unique advantages in the short term and eliminate any vulnerabilities before serious user, advertiser, or regulatory changes materialize,” Liu emphasised.

The social networking giant with over two billion users globally, is facing regulatory challenges as the Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed its lapses of data privacy and security.

facebook, personal data
FILE – A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

The downfall for Facebook, said Liu, would come with its desire to build an all-inclusive social media experience, as its CEO mark Zuckerberg is planning to merge all apps like Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram into one.

“Facebook’s hope to recreate WeChat, China’s largest messaging app turned all-in-one portal

to the Internet, presents long-term challenges,” Liu added.

WeChat primarily operates in a single country’s political and regulatory environment.

Also Read: South Korean Tech Giant Samsung Launches 2 New Tablets in India

“Facebook will need to tack on products and services to fulfill its one-app vision while global regulators threaten antitrust. It will also grapple with protecting user privacy globally while appeasing advertiser appetite for hypertargeting,” Liu noted.

As people become increasingly aware of social media’s harm, social media will lose its lustre.

“History has taught us that existing apps max out and then decline as users tire of the services or the company (like AOL, MySpace, Friendster). The Facebook app is already experiencing this; Instagram and WhatsApp will follow in a natural peak and then eventually decelerate, too,” Liu commented. (IANS)