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In China debut, Apple Music keeps costs low

On Wednesday, the California tech company announced the launch of Apple Music, iTunes, Movies and iBooks in China -- and added that its music service would be coming to Android this fall.

Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Apple has enjoyed tremendous growth in China, now its second biggest market, since launching its iPhone 6 range last year.

On Wednesday the American tech giant revealed that it'll be capitalising on this success by launching Apple Music, Movies, iTunes and iBooks for its Chinese customers.

The services, made available alongside the announcement, are much less expensive in China than they are in the US, Apple's biggest market. In China, movies on iTunes can be rented from 5 yuan ($0.80, AU$1.10 or £0.50) and bought from 18 yuan ($2.80, AU$4 or £1.90), whereas in the US, rentals cost $7 (AU$9 or £4 ) and newer films come with a $20 ($AU28 or £13) purchase fee.

Apple Music will start from as low as 10 yuan ($1.50, AU$2.25 £1) a month -- significantly cheaper than the $11.99 monthly charge in America and Australia and the £9.99 monthly fee the base subscription fetches in the UK.

The company says that the music service will be tailored to Chinese tastes and will have "millions" of songs in its catalog. Apple Music, which the company also announced would be coming to Android in the fall, boasts a catalog of over 30 million songs.

The announcement reflects China's increased significance to the iconic Californian company. Earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple's market growth in China grew 75 percent in the last year. Meanwhile, Apple Music will be the second app designed by Apple to hit Android after Move -- an application that helps move an Android user's information over to iOS.

Apple's aggressive pricing in the region isn't anomalous -- it adopted a similar strategy in India, where Apple Music starts at 120 rupees ($1.80, AU$2 or £1.20). It's similarly less expensive than US prices in countries like Indonesia, and slightly more expensive in Singapore, where the service starts at S$9.98 ($7, AU$10 or £4.60).