Three government agencies produce crackdown on popular software which can be used to violate internet regulation

Chinese authorities will question Apple over live-streaming video software available on the companys app storage, amid an increasingly hostile business environment for foreign firms in “the worlds” second largest economy.

Police, cyberspace administration and cultural rights law enforcement squad will jointly summon Apple, state news agency Xinhua reported, as part of a wider crackdown on live-streaming video services.

The three Chinese government agencies planned to tell Apple to tighten up checks on software offered on its app storage. Law law enforcement officers had already met with Apple representatives over live-streaming services, Xinhua reported, but did not provide details of the meetings.

The inquiry appears to be focused on third-party apps available for download through Apples online marketplace. The company did not respond to requests for commentary.

China operates “the worlds” largest internet censorship government, blocking a host of foreign websites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but the authorities have struggled to control an explosion in popularity of live-streaming video apps.

China accounted for almost a quarter of Apples worldwide revenue in the companys most recent fiscal quarter, and the app storage is increasingly important as sale of iPhones and iPad in China slow. Over the past year, Apple has twice been was necessary to shut or remove services from China at the governments request.

As part of the inquiry into live-streaming, three Chinese websites toutiao.com, huoshanzhibo.com and huajiao.com were already found to have transgressed internet regulations, and had broadcast content that transgressed Chinese law, including providing pornographic content, the Xinhua report told. Pornography is banned in China.

The three sites were to say to increase oversight of live-broadcasting services, user registration and the handled in tips-offs. Two of the websites, huoshanzhibo.com and huajiao.com, is currently under formal investigation and may have their cases transferred to the police for criminal prosecutions, the Xinhua report said.

Rules issued by Chinas cyberspace administration in June 2016 banning apps from writing or publicizing prohibited information or content.

Casting a wide net, the rules and state that apps cannot engage in activities prohibited by laws and regulations such as jeopardizing national security, disrupting social order and transgressing the legitimate rights and interests of others.

A recent survey proved American enterprises in China are facing one of the most severe climates in decades, largely due to increasing hostility towards foreign firms and slackening economic growth.

Barriers to investment remain high, the American Chamber of Commerce in China told, despite Chinas attempts to project an image of globalisation and openness, and about 81% of the chambers members said they felt unwelcome in 2016, an increase from 77% in 2015.

In December, Apple removed the New York Times app from its storage in China after both governments petition. The newspapers website has been blocked in China since 2012 after it published a story detailing the wealth of former “ministers ” Wen Jiabao and his family.

Last year, authorities also forced Apple to shutter its iBooks and iTunes movie platforms in China, where print and online media is tightly controlled.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ apr/ 20/ china-to-question-apple-about-use-of-app-streaming-to-beat-censors