Incident 270: Apple Tweaked App Store Ranking Algorithms, Allegedly Resulted in Demotion of Local Apps in China

Description: Following Apple’s changes in ranking algorithm in its iTunes App Store, apps by allegedly reputable companies and local startups in China experienced significant drops in ranking order.


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Alleged: Apple developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Renren , Buding Movie Tickets , Yi Xia , Dangdang , Chinese startups and Chinese companies.

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Khoa Lam
Apple Seems to Have Tweaked App Store Ranking Algorithm, Many Chinese Apps Plunge · 2012

A report from a Chinese news site suggests that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has adjusted its ranking rules and algorithm for the iTunes App Store in an apparent bid to punish developers who use third-party services to manipulate their apps’ ranking…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.