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Apple Product Launch Livecast Absent From Chinese Social Media

Bloomberg News
·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese consumers who stayed up late to catch a glimpse of Apple Inc.’s newest iPhones and HomePod were disappointed when the livestream was unavailable on the country’s top social media platforms.

When Apple unveiled new versions of the devices remotely via the internet on Tuesday in the U.S., sites including Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili and Weibo, didn’t carry the feed, without giving a reason.

“The live streaming is blocked, we can only go to Apple’s official site,” wrote one unverified user on Weibo.

“It’s disgusting,” wrote another. One person queried, “Is it a trick from rivals?”

Representatives of Tencent Holdings Ltd., iQiyi Inc., Weibo Corp. and Bilibili Inc. didn’t respond to requests for comments outside regular Chinese business hours.

Later in the day in the U.S., the iPhone 12 was ranked the hottest topic on Weibo, and social media users posted several photos of the new device.

Live streaming iPhone releases has been a ritual for many of these platforms. Apple’s official WeChat account promoted the iPhone 12 release event a week ago, saying five platforms, including iQiyi, Bilibili, Tencent Video, Weibo and Youku would livestream the event. It also included a disclaimer that the livestream from partners may change.

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