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Apple preventing Chinese apps new user tracking method

Apple preventing Chinese apps new user tracking method.

Social media network TikTok tried to bypass Apple’s App Tracking Transparency measures, in coordination with some other Chinese tech companies, but Apple called their bluff.

In the belief that Apple wouldn’t be able to block their apps, particularly in the Chinese region, apps including TikTok and QQ attempted to make the switch to Chinese Advertising ID, or CAID, to circumvent App Tracking Transparency measures that give iPhone users control over which apps can track their usage across the internet, and which can’t.

The belief stemmed from the confidence that Apple wouldn’t be able to ban apps incredibly popular in China. Apple did exactly that, by blocking updates for apps enlisting CAID, from the App Store. The Financial Times reports that Chinese tech companies including Baidu, Tencent and Bytedance have been working to create a new way of tracking iPhone users, for the purposes of advertising.

What is CAID ?

The state-backed China Advertising Association, which has 2,000 members, has launched a new way to track and identify iPhone users called CAID, which is being widely tested by tech companies and advertisers in the country.

ByteDance, the owner of the social video app TikTok, referred to CAID in an 11-page guide to app developers obtained by the Financial Times, suggesting that advertisers “can use the CAID as a substitute if the user’s IDFA is unavailable.”

Several efforts are under way to get around Apple’s rules, but CAID is the biggest challenge to them yet, and the iPhone maker declined to comment directly on it. But in a move that sets the stage for a major confrontation, Apple denied that it would grant any exceptions.

“The App Store terms and guidelines apply equally to all developers around the world, including Apple,” the company said. “We believe strongly that users should be asked for their permission before being tracked. Apps that are found to disregard the user’s choice will be rejected.”

One person familiar with the situation said Apple would be able to detect which apps use the new tool and block them from its App Store in China if it wanted to.

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