Zuckerberg: Facebook may be in a “stronger position” after Apple’s change

Apple CEO Tim Cook on stage during an Apple event in September 2018.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook is on stage during an Apple event in September 2018.

With a major change in Apple’s app tracking policy approaching, Chinese companies have issued a warning from Cupertino that their efforts to circumvent the change will not succeed. At the same time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to be changing his message about the change.

Several months ago, Apple announced that it would require a user subscription IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), a tool used by advertisers to identify and track users across apps and websites. If users choose to subscribe, it will be business as usual. But if they refuse, the app in question will not be able to use this tracking method. The change will apply to all iPhone and iPad apps, and will go into full effect in iOS 14.5, which is due for release sometime in the next few weeks.

ByteDance, Baidu et al

So far it has press coverage Focused In the United States and European countries grappling with change, notably Facebook, which has published ads and researched the possibility of filing an antitrust lawsuit to fight Apple’s decision. Several reports over the past few days have indicated that some of the major Chinese tech companies are no less determined to fight or circumvent Apple’s new policy.

Baidu, Tencent and ByteDance are among the Chinese tech companies looking for alternative solutions. Bloomberg Reports These companies have sought multiple methods of data collection and tracking of users despite Apple’s policy, including fingerprints, which “use device-specific information such as IMEI number and location to create a unique identifier.” And they are System test Called CAID. Developed by a government think-tank and the China Advertising Association, this system can be used as an “alternative in the event that the user’s IDFA is not available”.

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The companies’ efforts led Apple to release a statement clarifying that the upcoming changes apply to all applications from companies around the world, not just those developed and maintained in the United States:

The App Store terms and guidelines apply equally to all developers around the world, including Apple. We strongly believe that users must be required to obtain their permission before they can be tracked. Applications detected ignoring the user’s choice will be rejected.

However, the actions of these companies threaten to put Apple in a difficult position. China’s accounts At least 15 percent From Apple’s business. Although it is too early to make an absolute prediction and it depends on which role the Chinese government chooses to play here, it is reasonable that this situation escalates to the point where Apple has to decide whether to continue doing business there or change course. To set up special rules for tracking ads for this country that differ from those in place in other regions.

Zuckerberg changes the tune

Speaking in a club chat on Thursday, Zuckerberg Take a more positive attitude Regarding Facebook’s ability to thrive with the upcoming change. “We will be in a good position,” he said. “We’ll be able to manage through.”

Facebook had previously launched full-page press ads indicating that changing Apple could infect countless small businesses, and Facebook CFO David Wehner assumed last year that the change would lead to a 50% reduction in the network’s ad business. Profitable Audience Network.

Zuckerberg also took a tough initial stance against the change in the company’s last quarterly earnings call, and The Information stated that he was working with legal counsel to build an antitrust case against Apple as a way to fight the policy shift.

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But yesterday, Zuckerberg went so far as to say:

We could be in a stronger position if Apple’s changes encouraged more companies to trade our platforms by making it more difficult for them to use their data to find customers who want to use their products outside of our range. Platforms.

While the messages differ, it does not appear that the planned actions of the companies will change. Apple will still begin requiring Facebook apps to require users for permission to track them, and Facebook is still planning to accept the change so it can continue to make its apps and services available to iOS users.

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