Will app stores need a WVAS license to operate in China?

Chinese regulatory policy may prevent China Unicom’s version of Apple’s iPhone from accessing the App Store, according to media reports.

A senior Unicom executive was unable to provide a clear answer on the matter in an interview, saying only that the iPhone’s arrival in China was in accordance with all relevant regulations, and that Unicom and Apple are currently in discussions regarding ancillary questions.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said that the App Store would be considered a wireless value-added service (WVAS), meaning that it would need to apply for a value-added telecommunications services operating license to operate in China. Apple has not yet submitted an application for such a license for its App Store.

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