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Apple to allow alternative app stores in EU

By Ma Si | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-01-26 16:49

A view of Apple Inc's flagship store in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Apple Inc said it will allow software developers to distribute their apps to users in the European Union outside of its own App Store in response to the EU's Digital Markets Act.

The move is expected to impact many Chinese app developers, as many of them are exploring business opportunities in the EU.

The Digital Markets Act requires companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and a 75 billion euro ($82 billion) market capitalization to, among other things, make their apps compatible with those of rivals and let users decide which apps to pre-install on their devices.

Apple rolled out tools on Thursday, enabling developers to modify their business arrangements, and these changes will be visible to consumers through an iOS update in March.

The updated guidelines allow developers to pay no commissions at all if they opt to offer their apps through alternative app stores and opt out of using Apple's in-app payment system. However, a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 ($0.63) per install per account annually applies to popular apps exceeding a million downloads.

Apps staying on Apple's App Store will experience a reduced commission of either 10 percent (for the vast majority of developers, and subscriptions following their first year) or 17 percent on transactions for digital goods and services.

Developers dissatisfied with the new terms can continue with the existing model, subject to commissions ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent, Apple said.

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