Following a request from Chinese authorities, Apple in late December removed all apps from The New York Times from the App Store in China, The New York Times shared today.
According to Apple, the company was forced to remove both the English-language and Chinese-language news apps after being informed they were in “violation of local regulations.””We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said of the Times apps. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”News apps from other publications such as The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal remain in the Chinese App Store. The New York Times app was likely removed due to a long-standing ban in China – the site has been blocked since 2012.
Apple has not provided specific information on the local regulations the apps violated, and The New York Times has asked Apple to reconsider its decision.”The request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country, coverage which is no different from the journalism we do about every other country in the world,” Ms. Murphy said in a statement.The New York Times believes the request may have been made under Provisions on the Administration of Internet Application Informations Services regulations introduced in June of 2016. Those regulations prevent apps from publishing prohibited information and “endangering national security, disrupting social order and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others.”
Apple has faced censoring in China multiple times in the past, most notably being forced to shut down iTunes Movies and the iBooks Store following the release of controversial independent movie Ten Years.