Apple and Tencent have reportedly reached an agreement that will allow customers in China to once again “tip” content creators using WeChat, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple effectively blocked the feature last year when it demanded 30% of the revenue from donations.
The controversy sparked over a simple dispute: Apple classified donations using the WeChat messaging app as in-app purchases while Tencent disputed that by saying the tips went directly to creators. Apple collects 30% of revenue generated by in-app purchases through apps on the App Store like WeChat.
While the specifics are unclear, the WSJ says Tencent announced the news at a company event:
At a developers’ conference in Guangzhou on Monday, WeChat creator Allen Zhang said the two companies had reached an accord that will allow transfers to resume. He said WeChat will tweak the platform so the tip will be paid to individual content creators, but didn’t provide other details.
“In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features,” Mr. Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the “tip” function.”
As we reported last year, Apple updated its App Store guidelines back in September with a change that specifically allows direct donations without penalty:
Apple now allows apps to offer monetary gifting from person to person without using In-App Purchase (and giving Apple a 30% cut). In order for this to be allowed, the app must make the ‘gift’ optional and give all proceeds to the recipient. The apps are not allowed to take their own commission. This appears to be in response to complaints by WeChat that it must give 30% of user donations to Apple.
- Apple removes VPN apps from App Store in China to comply with local laws
- China cuts LTE access to Apple Watch Series 3, reputedly over government security concerns
- Apple removes Skype from Chinese app store after request from Ministry of Public Security
- Apple to transfer Chinese customer iCloud operations to GCBD at the end of February