Apple Dominates Chinese Software Market But Found Not to Have Abused Its Position, Court Rules

May 30, 2024 – On May 29th, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court announced the verdict of the first-instance trial in China’s first consumer lawsuit against Apple for monopoly practices. The court acknowledged Apple’s dominant position in the Chinese software market but rejected the plaintiff, Mr. Jin’s, claim that the tech giant had abused this position.

According to reports, in early 2021, Mr. Jin, a Shanghai-based user, noticed while purchasing an app on the Apple App Store that he could only use Apple Pay as the payment method. Other popular mobile payment options like WeChat Pay and Alipay were not available. Additionally, he observed that due to the 30% commission charged by Apple to developers (known as the “Apple tax”), the purchase price of the same app was higher on the Apple App Store compared to Android app stores.

Mr. Jin contended that Apple and Apple Shanghai abused their market position by engaging in bundling, refusing to deal, limiting transactions, and charging unfair high prices. He believed that these practices harmed consumer interests and allowed the companies to reap huge profits in the Chinese market.

As a result, Mr. Jin filed a lawsuit against the two companies, demanding an immediate cessation of their abuse of market dominance, compensation for economic losses amounting to RMB 100,000, and an apology published in newspapers such as the China Intellectual Property News, Legal Daily, and on Apple’s official Chinese website. The Shanghai Intellectual Property Court filed the case on February 2, 2021.

The plaintiff’s attorney expressed respect for the verdict of the first-instance trial but indicated their intention to appeal the case to the Supreme People’s Court.

Leave a Reply