Apple’s crackdown on Chinese tech giants trying to circumvent App Tracking Transparency has successfully thwarted a coordinated effort to create a new way to track iPhone users for advertising purposes in the country.
As first reported by the Financial Times back in March, rollout of Apple’s ATT has prompted advertising and technology groups in China to develop a new way, called CAID (Chinese Advertising ID), to track users without their permission even if the user denies app permission to use IDFA.
Chinese tech giants such as TikTok owner Bytedance, Tencent, and Baidu had hoped to get rid of ATT by switching to CAID and they had started to test CAID to see if it works to identify iPhone users who refused to allow apps to use IDFA . Apple responded these tests news by blocking updates to several Chinese apps it caught using CAID in App Store submissions.
The project has since struggled to find support in China and beyond, prompting groups participating in the CAID test to rethink, according to a recent Financial Times report.
“Several people in China and Hong Kong said that, following Apple’s retaliation, CAID lost support and the whole project failed to gain traction.
“This is a clear victory for Apple, and also consumer privacy, as the tech giants of China have been forced to back down and comply with Apple’s rules,” said Rich Bishop, chief executive of AppInChina, a leading publisher of international software in China.
“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,” added 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.”
In June, Apple announced that it has finally launched its Search Ads in mainland China.