Apparently, Apple has decided to block its news app in China due to pressures from the Chinese government, in order to censor some of its stories, according to The Verge. Apple News is no longer available in China, but an official statement has yet to be released.
Beijing’s restrictions on content available for people in the country have put many tech companies in difficult situations. Basically, they are required to censor the content in their apps for the Chinese market. The situation is not new, but Apple’s decision is quite surprising because China is a vast and preferred market for iPhones sale.
Now, with Apple News restricted to Internet consumers in China, the company is risking to be on the other side of the Great Firewall of China, alongside Facebook and Twitter. According to the same source, the block on Apple News was discovered by Hong Kong entrepreneur Larry Salibra, earlier this week.
While Apple News has only launched officially in the US so far, those who have activated their phones with American localization are able to retain access while they travel. So Salibra used a Chinese carrier and noticed that Apple news were down, but when he changed the carrier, the Apple app was up again. He then made the connections and realized that Apple is blocking access to the app in China.
Of course, we’re all wondering if this is a good strategy for Apple. Thumbs up for them on not supporting the Chinese government’s plan on keeping “undesired” information away from their own people, but financially speaking, is it good to “upset” a country with one of the largest market for your products? I guess we will have to wait and see Apple’s official position on the subject.