iTunes expands to 9 countries in Asia but leaves India, China out

Apple expanded its iTunes Store to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and nine other countries Wednesday, but the tech giant did not include India or China in its latest expansion into Asia.

The Cupertino, Calif., company announced the expansion of the digital store Wednesday, saying it will hit the new areas with more than 20 million songs, including local and international music.

The other countries included in Apple’s expansion are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.


Before Wednesday’s announcement, users in these countries were unable to make purchases through the iTunes Store unless they used credit or gift cards registered to countries were the iTunes Store was officially available, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Until Wednesday, Apple’s only iTunes Store presence in the region was in Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Apple did not introduce the iTunes Store, which has existed in the U.S. since 2003, to India or China. Although the two countries have Apple’s App Store, the iTunes Store may not have made it to the huge markets due to licensing problems and piracy concerns.

As for the other countries in the region, they may be paying less than consumers in the U.S. do. In Singapore, the Journal points out, users pay between $7.80 and $10.15 for albums and a dollar for songs -- in the U.S. most iTunes songs are $1.29 while albums have varying prices.

The iTunes Stores in the new areas will include music from Jay Chou, Girls Generation and Andy Lau.


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