Apple Launches App Store Search Advertising in Mainland China

Five years after launching in the United States, Apple’s search advertising service finally arrived in mainland China this week.

Called Apple Search Ads, the targeted ads feature works similar to Google ads by letting developers bid to get advertising space for certain keywords, reports AppInChina.

The new rollout brings with it the option to advertise in “China mainland,” but only for search results on the App Store. Apple did recently introduce new search tab ads to the App Store earlier this year, but these aren’t included in this rollout.

Developers are reportedly required to upload essential documents in order to advertise in mainland China, and creating a campaign will lead users to a “Request Approval” screen warning that the campaign in question will only be run once the request is approved.

Debuting Apple Search Ads in one of Apple’s biggest markets comes at the same time that Apple is cracking down on targeted advertising from other companies. Features like iOS 14’s App Transparency Tracker lets users opt out of personalized tracking from other companies. But while they’re struggling, Apple’s seemingly making the move to expand its own ad empire.

“It’s likely that the long delay in launching Search Ads in China was due to Chinese government restrictions on the operation of advertising business in China,” said Rich Bishop, founder and CEO of AppInChina. “It seems that Apple has found a way around this, but at the cost of having to accept payments in foreign currencies and not being able to provide Search Tab ads.”

Strangely enough, developers can’t pay for Apple Search Ads using Chinese Yuan but only with Dollars, Euros, and Japanese Yen.

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