China orders removal of New York Times app from Apple store

Apple has withdrawn the New York Times from its China App Store, following a request from Chinese authorities

5 January 2017, 2:25pm
Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store in China on 23 December
Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store in China on 23 December
Apple has removed the New York Times from its China app store, the tech giant said, after authorities told the company the app breached regulations.

According to the New York Times, Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store in China on 23 December, claiming that the move was aimed at preventing readers in China "from accessing independent news coverage".

"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 spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said in a statement.

"As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store."

When the situation changes, she added, Apple will offer the app again for download in China.

Western media have long been facing difficulties making their content available in China. The development marks the latest move by Beijing to suppress the newspaper's output in China, after the government blocked its website following a 2012 Times report saying that former Premier Wen Jiabao's family controlled assets worth $2.7 billion.

China's Communist Party oversees a vast censorship apparatus designed to censor online content they deem politically sensitive, while blocking some Western websites and the services of Internet giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google.

A Times spokeswoman said the company had asked Apple to reconsider its decision, it added.

“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,” spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said.