Chun Keji

East­day.com

ChinAfrica - - Pros & Cons -

It is rea­son­able for Ap­ple to charge such a fee. The App Store is like a shop­ping mall built by Ap­ple where any­one can sell apps on the premise of fol­low­ing the mall’s rules. The beauty of the mall is that it does not charge rent, and any­one is free to come in and sell their prod­ucts. Cus­tomers, for their part, are will­ing to pay to ac­cess th­ese apps, at­tract­ing more and more busi­nesses and app de­vel­op­ers.

With more and more Chi­nese peo­ple us­ing iphones, the mall ex­panded ex­po­nen­tially. That’s when some app de­vel­op­ers came up with a new way to at­tract con­sumers. In­stead of sell­ing things, they in­vited key opinion lead­ers (KOLS) to per­form and give talks on their dig­i­tal plat­forms. Thanks to KOLS’ ex­tra­or­di­nary pop­u­lar­ity, en­thu­si­as­tic fans started giv­ing tips to show their sup­port.

Once this busi­ness model was proven a suc­cess, more and more app de­vel­op­ers fol­lowed suit. Grad­u­ally, the ground rules of the mall were bro­ken. Deals are made in Ap­ple’s mall, but Ap­ple does not re­ceive its fair share and risks app de­vel­op­ers tak­ing con­trol of its users.

Ap­ple, as the owner of the mall, can­not bear be­ing marginal­ized. There­fore, it in­tro­duced this new pay­ment rule to rec­tify a bro­ken order. The real is­sue at stake here is con­trol over users rather than the tips, which are in­signif­i­cant to a large com­pany like Ap­ple.

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