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TikTok is avoiding Apple commissions for App Store purchases

TikTok is avoiding Apple commissions for App Store purchases

Apple in 2020 Banned The popular video game Fortnite from the App Store. The game's publisher, Epic Games, tried to pay Apple its 30 percent commission for in-app purchases of the game's V-Bucks currency. In response to Fortnite's actions that drove users to make purchases outside of the App Store, Apple pulled the game from the App Store.

Fast forward to 2024 and it looks like TikTok has now used a similar tactic in its iOS app. Now the question though: Is TikTok breaking Apple's rules?

As previously reported. Tech Crunch, developer David Tessler shared screenshots on X on Tuesday showing that TikTok is encouraging users to buy coins through the app, but not through Apple's in-app store purchase system that the iPhone maker uses. Will provide 30% commission. These screenshots show that TikTok is clearly asking its users to make purchases through its website, which it sends users in-app to buy coins.

“Try to recharge. tiktok.comreads the TikTok app's pop-up prompt shown in the screenshot. “You can save on service fees and access popular payment methods.”

TikTok users buy these coins to send tips to their favorite creators.

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When a user selects the coin purchase option, TikTok informs users that purchasing through the website will save them around 25 percent due to “low third-party service fees.” Of course, TikTok means it's able to pass on savings to users by not sharing 30 percent of its revenue with Apple.

Now, as mentioned earlier, Fortnite was famously banned from the App Store years ago due to tactics similar to Epic Games. However, in the nearly 4 years since Fortnite was given the boot, numerous lawsuits and policy changes have occurred over Apple's App Store rules. Since then, Apple has relaxed its rules regarding apps directing users to alternative payment methods.

As TechCrunch MarkingSome “reader” apps may provide digital products without going through Apple's in-app purchase system with Apple's approval. However, if an app does this, it may not provide in-store purchases through Apple either. TikTok is currently doing the latter.

Furthermore, as 9to5Mac According to reports, Apple has another fairly new policy that allows such external linking from alternative payment systems. The program still pays Apple a commission, though, with a commission that drops from 30 percent to 27 percent for an app like TikTok — a savings on commission for TikTok, if that's really what they're after. It does, but it's not very impressive. one

Apple and TikTok have not released a statement, but Mashable will update this piece if we hear back.

As Tessler explained, TikTok's instant blocking of in-app purchases isn't currently visible to all users. Is it a test from TikTok? Did he get permission from Apple? Or do we have another Fortnite situation on our hands? For now, it's unclear what's going on here.

But, one thing is for sure: TikTok is, at least in some cases, avoiding Apple's 30 percent commission fee.

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