Censorship in China is increasing as reports of Apple pulling out the New York Times app from its store start to spread online. The move is a blow to Chinese users and many have lamented this on social media. Also, the power of Chinese authorities to make giant US companies like Apple bend to their will is worrisome.
The New York Times offers its content in English and Chinese. However, it now joins the ranks of a growing number of news sites blocked in China. People have access to bypassing software though the need for such tools limits the readership of their news.
Why Did China Censor The New York Times?
One possible reason for the censorship is an article they ran about how the Chinese government offers billions of dollars in perks and subsidies to Foxconn, an Apple partner. The New York Times app disappeared from Apple stores on December 23, 2016. On the other hand, they ran thestory about Foxconn on December 29.
The New York Times app is still available in Taiwan and Hong Kong. But, to download it, users must have a credit card address outside mainland China. Violations by the New York Times include endangering national security and disrupting social order, according to Chinese laws.
Apple has removed The New York Times's apps from its app store in China after a request from authorities https://t.co/0HPgpPJQBY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 4, 2017
Greatfire.org, which is an anti-censorhsip group, worked alongside the New York Times to develop a Chinese-language app. This app could get around Chinese censorship in a way that the government has difficulty preventing access. According to them, the Foxconn story is the main reason for the censorship order.
Apple came out with a statement saying the New York Times app “is in violation of local regulations.” As such, they had no other choice but to remove the app from its listings. This statement by Apple, undeniably one of the world’s biggest and most important companies, shows how business in China comes at a cost, the Washington Post reported. Also, as Facebook is developing a censorship tool, some view it as a move to gain access to China.
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