Apple would have given series makers for its upcoming streaming service TV+ from the beginning of 2018 not to paint China negatively. Buzzfeed claims that based on anonymous sources around the company.
The clue would have come straight from Apple’s top, via top executives Eddy Cue and Morgan Wandell, Buzzfeed claims. It was part of a series of actions to please the Chinese government after the closure of iBooks Store and iTunes Movie Store in China, six months after its release in 2016.
Apple will release its own streaming service TV+ in a few weeks, containing its own series. It is the first time that the manufacturer has commissioned series production. TV+ is released in the US and the Benelux, but not in China. Because of the large Chinese market, it is common for film and series makers to receive instructions not to offend the country’s government, according to Buzzfeed.
Buzzfeed’s article comes out a few days after Apple pulled the HKMap.live app from the App Store in consultation with authorities in Hong Kong. Apple also previously removed the Quartz app, which posted messages about the protests in Hong Kong from the App Store.
Apple is one of the few western tech giants with significant stakes in China. It sells a lot of devices and earns some of its revenue in the country. Last week Blizzard fired a Hearthstone player and took his prize money for expressing support for the protests, although that decision has already been partially reversed. Hong Kong has been protesting against China’s political influence for months.