Apple’s search advertising business, which first launched in the United States five years ago, has finally arrived in mainland China this week.
Apple Search Ads, a tool similar to Google search ads, allows developers to bid on an ad spot based on users’ keyword searches in the App Store.
JPMorgan had predicted that the company’s yearly ad revenue would reach $11 billion by 2025, albeit the forecast didn’t include a breakdown for search ads.
“The protracted delay in introducing Search Ads in China was most likely caused by Chinese government limitations on the functioning of advertising businesses in the country. Apple appears to have found a way around this, but at the penalty of having to accept foreign currency purchases and not being able to serve Search Tab ads.”Says Rich Bishop, founder and CEO of AppInChina.
Apple has started cracking down on tailored advertising by allowing users to turn off data tracking by applications, a move that will inevitably cause chaos on Facebook’s and other companies’ business models that rely on third-party data to target adverts.
Apple lays out the requirements for developers who want to target mainland Chinese consumers with adverts. According to a blog post by AppInChina, advertisers must obtain industry-specific permissions, thereby prohibiting most international firms from directly advertising in mainland China.
For apps importing goods into China, the requirements include not just a general license to operate value-added internet enterprises, but also registrations with the appropriate trade and customs agencies.
According to AppInChina, Apple may start requesting these licences from apps that just wish to publish in China, as the company continues to follow Chinese government restrictions, as evidenced by its crackdown on gaming apps.