Chinese regulators shutter iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store

Only six months after Apple launched iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store in China, a Chinese regulator has shut down the two services. In recent months and years, China has been going out of its way to open doors for domestic tech companies – and that has meant restricting the operations of their foreign competitors, particularly American companies. (The distrust sown by the 2013 Edward Snowden leak is often cited as a motivating factor.) Still, Apple had seemed uniquely immune to China’s restrictions, and the shuttering took observers by surprise. It’s not good news for Apple: The Chinese market is the tech giant’s second largest after the U.S. And Apple’s e-services, which are tightly woven into its device ecosystem, are a key driver in iPhone and iPad purchases. “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” said an Apple spokeswoman in a statement.

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