Apple Inc. launched its Apple Music service in China on Wednesday. Chinese customers can also access iTunes movies and iBooks online, thanks to cooperation with the domestic film industry and local publishers, Xinhua news agency reported.
Apple Music was introduced in more than 100 countries and regions following an announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. The first three months for Chinese users will be free. The monthly subscription fee is about $1.5, and the family plan provides the service for $2.36 for up to six members with individual accounts.
"We think the price of 10 RMB is hard to beat for all the music and all the sensational products like radio, movies and books," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a tele-briefing on Tuesday. He said Apple wants to be very competitive in Chinese market, where most songs and movies are available online for free.
He said Apple's service is unique for its cloud music library and ability to sync and save a user's spot in a book or song when switching between devices. In 2013, China's leading search engine Baidu launched Baidu music. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, bought music service Xiami, and Netease launched its cloud music service.
"We will absolutely establish and build relationships with the local music community," said Cue, adding that Apple Music will try to discover artists and bring better music to customers. Also through the iTunes Store, customers can download some of the latest Hollywood tracks as well as many local titles.
On local regulations and supervision, Cue said Apple always complies with local laws and regulations wherever it operates. He said App Store in China has become the largest market in the world for app downloads, but he did not give specific figures.