China has often been left out by foreign internet giants when they are launching new services. Apple first debuted Apple Music this April, but China is dropped from the first batch of 100 countries open to Apple Music this June 30.
But the American company has finally announced a delayed launch of Apple Music in China today. iTunes Movies and iBooks, two services that were also inaccessible in mainland China, have also opened to Chinese customers today.
Like the overseas version, Apple Music, the company’s music streaming service, is paid on a monthly fee and will offer the same three-month free trial period as to the rest of the world. Apple Music will cost 10 RMB ($1.57 USD) a month, or 15 RMB for a family plan providing service for up to six family members. The fees are quite a bit cheaper than their U.S. equivalents, which are priced at $9.99 USD and $14.99 USD per month, respectively.
iTunes movies start from 5 RMB ($0.79) for HD rentals, with which the fans can watch for an unlimited number of times within 30 days, and 18 RMB for HD purchases. While some of the books will be offered for free, iBooks start from 0.5 yuan (8 cents). The pricing for both iTunes movies and iBooks are on par with similar services in China.
Apple also made some serious endeavors in offering localized contents through partnership with Chinese music production companies, film producers like Bona Film Group, Huayi Brothers Media, and more than 20 Chinese publishers.
The company noted in the announcement that Apple Music will be coming to Android phones this fall. The availability of more entertainment services in China is expected to match Chinese Apple Fan’s growing enthusiasm for its hardware.
“Customers in China love the App Store and have made it our largest market in the world for app downloads,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “One of the top requests has been more great content and we’re thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts,” he said.