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Apple's top exec in South Korea departs amid dispute over App Store

Credit: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash

Apple's top executive in South Korea is reportedly departing the country amid a dustup with the local government over new regulations affecting the App Store.

Brandon Yoon, who managed sales in South Korea and took on Samsung on its home turf, is departing the company for a job in the U.S., Bloomberg reported Thursday. He joined Apple in 2018 and served as its general manager and sales chief for South Korea.

Additionally, Yoon also became Apple representative in ongoing legal work concerning new App Store regulations in the country. South Korea in August voted to ban app marketplace operators from prohibiting third-party payment buttons within apps.

Apple doesn't allow third-party payments for app or in-app purchases. The company says that alternate payment options would increase financial risks for users.

Yoon provided testimony for Apple to the South Korean government on the issue. However, sources told Bloomberg that his departure from Apple doesn't have anything to do with the new App Store rules.

Back in October, Apple pushed back against the rule change, claiming that its policies were already in compliance with the new regulations and that it didn't't need to change anything.

Google on Thursday updated its Google Play policies to allow in-app buttons for third-party payments. Echoing Apple's argument, Google said that the alternate payment systems may not provide "the same protections or payment options" of its first-party platform.