Apple tax won’t influence live-streaming platforms

Abstract: Apple has canceled the 30% “Apple tax” once attacked by domestic application developers that provide content service.

Recently, the updated Apple Store Review Guidelines showed that Apps may enable individual users to give a monetary gift to another individual without using in-app purchase, provided that (a) the gift is a completely optional choice by the giver, and (b) 100% of the funds go to the receiver of the gift. However, a gift that is connected to or associated at any point in time with receiving digital content or services must use in-app purchase.

This also means Apple will continue to take a 30% cut in live streaming platforms and in-game currency, and only content creators who wrote articles can receive the reward without getting the commission cut.

Content creators are the beneficiaries

On April 19, Wechat announced that it had canceled its reward function on the iOS system because the upgraded 3.1.1 clause of Apple on June 13, 2016 stipulated that no buttons, outside links, or other words encouraging such actions directing users to use non-IAP for purchase were allowed.

Then, the updated articles of App store officially pointed out tipping with in-app currency would be treated as in-app purchase, of which Apple takes a 30% cut, namely “Apple tax”.

This policy affected content platforms, such as Wechat and Zhihu. Sina Technology found some writers noted that they refused to answer questions about charges on iOS terminal.

The new policy removes the 30% “Apple tax” that operators had to pay when iOS users tipped articles or columns.

“Apple will no longer draw a commission from columnists, which is good news for users.” responded Zhihu.

However, it takes days before the iOS reward function releases. Take the example of Wechat, though Tencent did not draw a commission from tipping for public accounts, but users had to pay through Tencent and then operators could withdraw cash. Yet Apple’s new rules stressed that digital content and services must use in-app purchase. After the new rules came into effect, platforms need to develop new interface.

New rules do not affect live-streaming platforms

Live streaming platforms that use in-app virtual currencies also suffered a blow from “Apple tax” that came into force in June.

“First, to make hostesses more famous, some talent agencies used to give a top-up to reward them. But Apple’s 30% cut leads to a rise in the hype. Accordingly, the tipping in live streaming dived. Second, this policy eats into the incomes of platforms and hostesses.” Wei Wuhui, a venture partner of SkyChee Ventures, said.

Some analysts said the new rules will add more income to hostesses or hosts while reducing the platforms’ income because they cannot draw a commission from the top-up.

In fact, the new rules have no influence over live streaming platforms. Only when one person uses cash to tip another can the third party not draw a commission. Second, digital content or services must use in-app purchase.

Douyu, a live streaming platform, told Sina Technology that Apple’s new rules do not involve live streaming industry so that these rules do not affect Doyu. So did Yingke, another live streaming platform, because it adopted virtual gifts.


This article originally appeared in Sina Technology and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.