Apple wins the privacy battle in China

The attempt by Chinese technology companies to circumvent Apple’s privacy policy has been stifled in its infancy. This is a major victory for the iPhone manufacturer, which is seen as a threat to its global privacy promotion.

The technology group headed by Baidu, Tencent and TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has collaborated with two Beijing affiliated groups to create a new iPhone advertising tracking method called CAID, even if they refuse to allow apps to use Apple’s official ID. Allow them to identify users, called IDFA.

CAID was developed last year and has been in public testing for several months before it is scheduled to be released at the end of March.After the Financial Times Report its existence In mid-March, ad technology experts believed that this attempt posed a serious threat to Apple’s global privacy rules and its $50 billion business in China.

Consultant Eric Seufert has said that a concerted attempt put Apple in an “impossible position.” He said that Apple will have to choose between rejecting CAID, risking angering Beijing, or making the embarrassing decision to allow it and admitting that the world’s most populous country abides by different rules.

“Apple is facing a disaster,” he wrote on Twitter.

Soon after, Apple clarified its position by refusing to update several Chinese applications that included CAID in its software updates in its App Store.

Several people in mainland China and Hong Kong said that after these rejections, CAID quickly lost support and the entire project failed to gain traction.

“This is a clear victory for Apple and a victory for consumer privacy, because Chinese technology giants are forced to back down and abide by Apple’s rules,” said Rich Bishop, CEO of AppInChina, a leading international software publisher in China. .

Alex Bauer, head of product marketing at Adtech Group Branch, added: “The Chinese application ecosystem is collectively using CAID to lure bulls. The theory is that Apple cannot ban all major applications on the market.”

“Apple calls them bluffs and seems to regain control of the situation by lashing out at early adopters before the consortium gains any real momentum.”

ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment. Tencent and Baidu declined to comment. Apple did not specifically mention CAID, but reiterated that its “App Store terms and guidelines also apply to all developers worldwide” and “applications found to ignore user choices will be rejected.”

Although CAID is led by the 2,000-member China Advertising Association and the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a research institution directly under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it is not clear whether these groups have sufficient Beijing support.

These groups also do not know whether CAID violates Apple’s policy, and the United States and foreign countries are carefully reviewing its gray areas.

Spokespersons of some companies involved in this work stated that they believe that CAID has Apple’s seal of approval, and CAA’s website still has information about CAID, including application forms. Earlier they told the Financial Times that it Is “actively communicating” with the technology giant.

If CAID gains momentum and gets the full support of Beijing, the response may be widespread. A person familiar with the CAA strategy said that the organization is still developing an Android identifier called OID, but CAA first wants to test the waters in the smaller iPhone market.

Bishop said that if the Chinese company now abides by Apple’s rules, it may support search ads, Apple’s App Store advertising business, and developers can pay to make their apps the first result of a given keyword. The service has a history of nearly five years in the United States, but only launched in China last month. “This is one of the few ways to accurately locate Chinese iOS users,” he said.

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