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Apple says iTunes Movies, iBooks services closed down in China

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Apple Inc's iTunes Movies and iBooks service were closed down in China last week, less than seven months after they started operations.

[NEW YORK] Apple Inc's iTunes Movies and iBooks service were closed down in China last week, less than seven months after they started operations.

Apple wants to restore services "as soon as possible", the company said in a one paragraph e-mailed statement without providing a timeframe. The closings were ordered by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

In February, the regulator and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released new rules governing publication of virtually all types of Internet content in China. The regulations took effect last month.

Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, is Apple's largest market after the US, with the company rolling out new services amid slowing growth for device sales.

For the three months ended December, revenue in the region rose 14 per cent to US$18.4 billion and chief executive officer Tim Cook plans to continue investing despite an economic slowdown.

Apple was the third-largest smartphone vendor in the December quarter with 12.5 per cent of shipments, according to researcher Canalys. That trailed Huawei Technologies Co and Xiaomi Corp, who each had about 15 per cent.

Last month, President Xi Jinping said China would accept foreign Internet companies as long as they abide by Chinese laws and regulations.

BLOOMBERG