As part of a heavy-handed crackdown on foreign media, Apple has complied with a request from unnamed Chinese authorities to remove two New York Times apps from its app store in China The technology giant removed both the English and Chinese-language news apps from its mainland China store on December 23, according to a report in the newspaper on Thursday.
Apple spokesman Fred Sainz told the Times: “For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations.”
Apple has yet to release a separate statement on the decision and has not clarified which local regulations the apps had violated, frustrating any effort to reverse the decision. On Thursday a few Chinese media outlets published short reports on the app removals.
China’s Great Firewall
The Chinese government heavily censors news from foreign media, and started blocking the Times’ website in 2012 after the newspaper reported on the family wealth of a former prime minister.
In recent years China has intensified and upgraded its far-reaching internet controls, known collectively as the “Great Firewall.” Websites not available in China include social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, websites of several human rights organizations, as well as media including financial news agency Bloomberg and The Economist.
tr/uhe (dpa/The New York Times)