Apple Blocks Chinese Firms’ Attempt to Bypass App Tracking Transparency

It was earlier reported that major tech companies in China, like TikTok’s ByteDance and Alibaba, were developing a tool that could bypass App Tracking Transparency. A new report published today claims that Apple has successfully blocked Chinese firms’ attempts of bypassing ATT by using the Chinese Advertising ID (CAID).

Apple’s newly introduced App Tracking Transparency has created havoc in the advertising business. A report recently concluded that most iPhone users have opted out of app tracking, and the advertisers are no longer interested in displaying ads on iOS. The advertising agencies have even shifted to Android for more revenue.

Alibaba even reportedly had a board meeting over iOS 14.5’s ATT. Later it was reported that China had been developing tools that could bypass ATT. The firms in China were hoping to switch to a tool called CAID that would have allowed them to bypass IDFA used in App Tracking Transparency.

Apple Had to Choose Between Rejecting CAID or Annoy Chinese Government

The Financial Times has now reported that Apple has blocked these firms’ attempts to use CAID. According to the report, Apple had to make a decision between annoying the Chinese government by blocking CAID or allowing apps to use CAID to track app usage.

“Eric Seufert, a consultant, had said the co-ordinated attempt placed Apple in “an impossible situation”. He said Apple would have to choose between rejecting CAID, risking the ire of Beijing, or taking the embarrassing decision of allowing it and conceding that the world’s most populous country played by different rules. “Apple has a catastrophe on its hands,” he wrote on Twitter.”

Apple has finally made a decision and has chosen to block the use of CAID in China. Apple blocked the updates of the apps that enlisted CAID in their changelog.

“Apple made its position clear shortly afterwards by blocking updates to several Chinese apps that it had caught enlisting CAID in their software updates from its App Store. Several people in China and Hong Kong said that, following Apple’s retaliation, CAID lost support and the whole project failed to gain traction […]

“The Chinese app ecosystem was collectively baiting the bull with CAID, under the theory that Apple couldn’t afford to ban every major app in the market,” said Alex Bauer, head of product marketing at adtech group Branch. “Apple called their bluff, and seems to have reasserted control over the situation by aggressively rapping knuckles on early adopters, before the consortium gained any real momentum.”

[Via Financial Times]

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