Apple Search Ads debut in mainland China with restrictions

"Note that Apple Search Ads is Apple Ads in mainland China. Search tab ads aren't currently available on the App Store in mainland China."

What you need to know

  • Apple Search Ads are now live in Mainland China.
  • Apple says that doesn't include Search tab ads, which aren't currently available.
  • It means developers can advertise their apps more prominently in China.

Apple has rolled out its Search Ads feature to mainland China, meaning developers can now advertise their apps in the country.

As noted by AppInChina:

On June 22nd 2021 Apple announced the long-awaited launch of Search Ads on the Apple App Store in Mainland China. This page will provide you with a summary of the options, restrictions and solutions that are available in order to use Search Ads in China.

If you are using an international (i.e. non-Chinese) Search Ads account then you will now be able to select 'China mainland' in the 'Choose one or more countries or regions' section

The new rollout brings with it the option to advertise in 'China mainland', but only for search results on the App Store. Apple did recently introduce new search tab ads to the App Store earlier this year, but these aren't included in this rollout. Developers must also upload required documents in order to advertise in mainland China, and creating a campaign will lead users to a 'Request Approval' screen that says their campaign will only be run once their request is approved. Strangely enough, developers can't pay for Apple Search Ads using Chinese Yuan, but can pay with Dollars, Euros, and Japanese Yen.

As mentioned, Apple built on its Search Ads earlier this year with new Search tab ads that users see before they've started typing a search query, from Apple:

Apple Search Ads has always made it easy to promote your apps at the top of relevant search results on the App Store. Now you can reach users even before they search with an ad placement on the Search tab. It's a simple and effective way to help users discover your apps.

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