Apple has been engaging in anti-competitive behavior in China, its largest mobile applications market, according to a lawsuit filed with regulators in that country. The antitrust suit, which comes on behalf of more than two dozen developers, was filed Tuesday by Dare and Sure, a law firm based in China.
The lawsuit states that the tech juggernaut is mistreating Chinese developers through its stronghold via the iOS App Store. Among the tactics deployed, as reported in news by The Financial Times, allegedly: removing apps or charging high rates for in-app transactions. The suit follows what has been billed as a “crackdown” on mobile apps viewed as illegitimate, and in that effort the firm got rid of 58,000 apps. That figure was estimated by ASO100, a research firm.
The Chinese developers state that they did not get enough explanation for the removal of the mobile apps that they had created and endured extensive waiting periods before those apps were made available again. Apple has countered that it was compliant with “local laws” and antitrust regulations already in place, with a defined process in place for appeals, whereby the removed apps would be reinstated in the App Store.
In a statement, Lin Wei, counsel at Dare and Sure, said that “[Apple founder] Steve Jobs represented the American dream. But Apple’s unequal treatment of China’s young developers stops them from realizing their China dream.”
Lin has maintained that the company does not have legal registration in China, reported chinaeconomicreview.com, which would imply that the company does not have the right to supply internet content there.