Many Chinese will ‘throw away’ their iPhones if WeChat stops working


A summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for June 6, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "'Now China leads.'"

Rumors have been circulating in China that WeChat, China’s largest social app, might be removed from the Apple App Store. The speculation began in April after Apple informed a host of Chinese app developers, including WeChat, that they would need to disable in-app tipping functions unless they agreed to let Apple collect 30 percent of all money transfers. WeChat announced that it “regrettably” had to abolish its tipping feature in order to comply with Apple’s new terms.

Apple has a decade-long tradition of sharing revenues on all purchases with app developers, with a 70-30 split in most cases. However, the extension of the model to in-app tipping has triggered outrage from many app developers, who argued that tipping only allows money transfers between two parties using the platform, while the app creators don’t make any money off the tip.

On the social media platform Weibo, internet users are debating (in Chinese) over which one they would like to keep, Apple or WeChat, if the latter stops working on iPhones. The overwhelming majority of commenters said that they will “throw away their iPhones immediately” if WeChat becomes unavailable.