Apple has recently launched a new move to adjust subscription prices in China, which is relevant to both developers and users: in China, when developers raise the price of auto-renewing subscriptions, they can automatically renew their previous subscriptions under certain restrictions and with prior communication with users.
In fact, the change of automatic subscription renewal has been launched in some other countries and regions outside of China, and domestic developers and users can be said to be able to do it after it has been verified.
Improvements to the App Subscription Model
App subscriptions are a new business model created by Apple. Apple has extended the “subscription” habit into the digital age and combined it with its own App Store ecosystem, saving developers from losing users and revenue and users from having to pay monthly fees and having service interruptions.
This new business model at the App level has been followed by several official improvements from Apple. The May subscription notification update was a new improvement.
In May, Apple implemented a new practice in most of the foreign App Stores, which allowed developers to raise the price of subscriptions without additional user action under certain restrictions, provided that users were fully informed.
Now this improvement has come to China as well. Apple mentions that the feature has been introduced in other countries or regions. We hope that this change will allow App Store users in China to better enjoy their subscriptions and avoid disruptions in special circumstances.
Multiple requirements for renewing subscriptions and raising prices
Perhaps at first glance, the new rules may leave a loophole for unscrupulous developers. What if a developer raises prices in bad faith? Will users lose out?
The App Store staff has taken all of this into account and has put multiple restrictions on the rules.
First of all, the subscription price increase under the new model will be notified to users via email, push notifications and in-app messages to ensure users’ right to know.
Second, there are strict restrictions on this feature, including 1) no more than one price increase per year, 2) no more than $5/50% of the previous subscription price, 3) or no more than $50/50% of the previous subscription price for an annual subscription.
The two cases 2) and 3) have actually done a double limit (amount or percentage) on the price increase itself. And Sina Digital has learned that there is double insurance: even for price increases that meet the above conditions, Apple will still alert users via email, push notifications and in-app messages. Users will also be told how to view, manage or cancel their subscriptions, as they always have been.
For some subscription experts, the new rules can save them a lot of trouble if they stop or need to reconfirm when the App price increases according to the previous model; of course, for some users who are not so familiar with App Store ecology or subscription management, the new rules may cause more expenses.
So finally, as a user, you should regularly check your existing subscriptions on the subscription management page to form good consumption habits and reduce the trouble of filing complaints and refunds later.