What happened: Apple said China’s temporary ban on approving new video game titles last year was one of the reasons for the company’s revenue decline over the fourth calendar quarter of 2018. Apple CFO Luca Maestri made that comment about the company’s $4.8 billion revenue decline in Greater China during an earnings call on Tuesday. He said the issue around approval was “clearly affecting” Apple, as the App Store in China is a large business, with iOS mobile games affected in the ban.
Why it’s important: Although still relatively small compared to its hardware sales, Apple’s services business has been a steady source of revenue growth since 2016. However, the Chinese government stopped approving new games for nine months in March last year, which curbed Apple’s services revenue in China, the largest gaming market in the world. Apple has also witnessed declines in sales of all three major product lines in China, namely iPhones, Macs, and iPads.