“A strange thing happened on the iTunes U.S. store on Monday (Nov. 5) when Kris Wu, a Chinese-Canadian actor and artist, practically swept the Top 10 songs chart. For much of the day and into the night, the only non-Wu track in the top five was Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next,’ which had premiered amid much fanfare just ahead of “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 3,” Shirley Halperin reports for Variety. “or an artist who was accustomed to topping the chart with every new release, it was a bitter pill for Grande to swallow. At the same time, it seemed curious that Wu, whose album ‘Antares’ had yet to be released in China, would have such momentum on a U.S. chart. While he’s a household name in Asia, in America he’s comparably an unknown. Also, Wu’s tracks weren’t streaming in significant numbers which was reason enough for some industry insiders to cry foul.”

“Indeed, according to a well-placed insider, Wu’s album sales were acquired fraudulently and will not count toward the iTunes sales chart reported to Nielsen and disseminated by Billboard,” Halperin reports. “So how did this happen? According to insiders, there were several factors that contributed to Wu’s showing. First, his album hadn’t yet been released in China where the label purportedly purposely held it back so it could come out on Wu’s birthday, Tuesday, Nov. 6… What transpired was a classic supply and demand scenario where ‘supply in the U.S. met the demand in China.'”

“Still other insiders contend that Chinese fans were able to use VPN manipulation to access the U.S. iTunes store, noting that Spotify is not available in China, so it stands to reason that Wu devotees would resort to any method possible to support their favorite artist,” Halperin reports. “Still, the integrity of the iTunes store comes into question if such a VPN breach occurred. And an added anomaly: as soon as Wu’s album was available in China, his rank swiftly slipped on the U.S. iTunes chart to position No. 90. Where did all those U.S. fans go? (Apple declined comment.)”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now we know why Apple pulled those VPN apps in China. 😉

SEE ALSO:
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy blast Apple CEO Tim Cook for removing VPN apps from App Store in China – October 20, 2017
Apple issues statement regarding removal of VPN apps from China App Store – July 31, 2017
Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store – July 29, 2017