Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks stores are no longer available in China. According to The New York Times, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ordered the closure of the ebook and movie stores. At this stage, there's no mention of why the stores were ordered shut, especially considering Apple's healthy relations with Chinese regulators.
In a statement to the Times, an Apple spokeswoman acknowledged the closure, stating that the company is working to enable the services once again:
We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible.
Apple launched iTunes Movies and iBooks in China last September, along with Apple Music. Apple's Music service is still functional in the country, as is its payments solution, which went live just a few months ago.
The Times report also notes that China's president Xi Jinping held a meeting last week with top officials from the country's tech companies including Alibaba's Jack Ma, Huawei's Ren Zhengfei, and others. The goal of the meeting was to devise a way to reduce reliance on American companies, instead focusing on homegrown alternatives.
At this stage, there's no mentioning when iBooks and iTunes Movies will be coming back, or even if this is the first step in a larger push to curtail Apple's services in the country. We'll share additional details once we hear more.