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Apple takes iTunes to Asia

Nine years after the US version opened its doors, the iTunes platform has made its way to Asia.

Nine years after the first iTunes launched in the U.S., Apple has taken the service to Asia.

In a low-key launch last week, Apple opened the door to a version of iTunes aimed at 12 new markets in Asia, including Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

While Japan has had its own version of iTunes since 2005, iTunes has been largely unavailable in the rest of the region until now.

Apple's Asian iTunes comes with several limitations unique to the region, likely due to content producers' fears over piracy. According to the MarketWatch, a restricted selection of movies and music is available in the 12 countries, while the option of streaming television shows has been removed altogether.

As well as online moves in Asia, Apple has been making its presence felt with physical stores. Last fall, the technology giant opened a 15,000-square-foot store in Hong Kong's prime shopping location, International Finance Centre.

Correction, June 10 at 11:33 a.m. PT: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed South Korea as one of the new markets for iTunes (see the correct list of new iTunes markets). This item also referred incorrectly to a commentary on MarketWatch as a Wall Street Journal article.