BEIJING, CHINA- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) The Cupertino giant has banned its very own News app from the Chinese region, thus going along with China’s censorship laws.
During WWDC 2015 in June, Apple released a news aggregator application that would come pre-installed with iOS 9 called News. The app is supposed to confront third-party apps that stand out in the particular field, such as Flipboard, Feedly and even the leader, which is Google News.
The app is currently available for US, UK, and Australia; though the rest of the world can download it as well by accessing one of the aforementioned countries’ respective App Stores.
Moreover, reports coming from Chinese users suggest that the service is not available in the particular region. One of the three users who confirmed the blockage of the News app stated that the app is not accessible if a user’s device is under a Chinese cellular network, nor he can open articles saved for offline view. In addition, the app won’t be abailable with or without a VPN service within greater China.
Apple has not confirmed neither denied the above allegations.
The particular gesture baffles most of the users out there, and the reason behind this event is quite simple. The Chinese market is the second biggest Apple customer after the US, while it accounts for 50% of the firm’s overall revenue growth. In the meantime, the Chinese authorities have implemented strict censorship laws that restrict the info that can be accessed within the region’s borders, hence services like Google’s search engine has been blocked.
Since China belongs to one of the markets that the Cupertino giant thrives in, the latter would not wish to disrupt its relationship with CH over the censorship matter. Though, that move could imply that Apple caters governments’ needs first, and then the ones of its actual customers.
Hong Kong-based startup owner, Larry Salibra, was among the people to raise concerns regarding Apple’s particular move. His comment on the matter was:
“They’re censoring news content that I downloaded and stored on my device purchased in the USA, before I even enter China just because my phone happens to connect to a Chinese signal floating over the border… What make me uncomfortable is them enforcing rules of other countries on my device which I didn’t buy in that country even when I’ve turned off location services. ”
Do you think that this gesture could distort Apple’s image on a global level? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.