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Censorship China Software Apple News

Apple Reportedly Disables Its News App In China (nytimes.com) 64

An anonymous reader writes: When Apple launched iOS 9, it replaced its Newsstand app with Apple News. The software has only been available to users in the U.S., but those who registered their phones in the U.S. had no problem using the app while overseas. Now, the NY Times reports that Apple is specifically disabling the app for users located in China. "Those in China who look at the top of the Apple News feed, which would normally display a list of selected articles based on a user's preferred media, instead see an error message: 'Can't refresh right now. News isn't supported in your current region.' ... Beijing generally insists that companies are responsible for censoring sensitive content inside China. In Apple's case, that would mean it would probably have to develop a censorship system — most Chinese companies use a combination of automated software and employees — to eliminate sensitive articles from feeds."
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Apple Reportedly Disables Its News App In China

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  • In Soviet China, news read you!
  • by lesincompetent ( 2836253 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @08:43AM (#50703449)
    Totalitarian regime goes hand in hand with the chinese government.
    I struggle to see the news.
    • The rationalism is probably something like this: we need revenue (don't want to be banned) and people will ummm, maybe, ok-- try to find ways around the censorship.

    • Totalitarian regime goes hand in hand with the chinese government. I struggle to see the news.

      This is news. It's called an instruction set to inform the rest of the world how NOT to act. And quite frankly, humans are lemmings who will follow the status quo, so they need that reminder more than they think they do.

      When you do not report violations of rights, those violations become the norm. Then they become accepted. Then they become defended. Then they become law. Then they become an example for other countries to follow.

      Don't give other countries the excuse.

    • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @09:18AM (#50703533)

      I struggle to see the news.

      Are you in China?

      • I just love to play with the ambiguities of language and with the english language it's almost too easy.
      • by Bob_Who ( 926234 )

        I struggle to see the news.

        Are you in China?

        China has no struggles. China is such good news, and China is good fortune cookie by excellent government policy embraced by people and Buick.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would take a more activist approach and load up the phones with Tor, PGP, and all kinds of stuff to subvert Chinese censorship, then have the phones smuggled in via Taiwan.

    If the Maoists don't like it, I'd pull ever last assembly line out of the country and tell them where to stick it.

    Apple is sitting on 1/3 of a trillion dollars in cash. They can build 100+ factories in any other country they want, and the Chinese wouldn't be able to do shit.

    • Tim Cook is totally outspoken when it comes to gay rights, but when it comes to censorship in China, he becomes a total wuss!!! Should one be surprised? Wonder whether they recognize gay marriage in China, and whether he supports their policy on gays or not? Maybe if one brought to his notice discrimination against gays in China, that he'd make this a personal cause celeb
      • Tim Cook's take on Chinese treatment of gays?

        Not favorable if this article on shock therapy [advocate.com] is to be believed.

        • Well, that would probably have to be 'privately' disfavored by Mr. Cook. He's not going to take a public stand on Gay Rights in the market that hasn't been captured yet.

      • Tim Cook cares about stock valuation, not freedom in China or anywhere else. That's his job. The dark side is strong in this one.
        • Tim Cook cares about stock valuation, not freedom in China or anywhere else. That's his job. The dark side is strong in this one.

          That's interesting, given how outspoken he is on the issue of gay marriage in the US. That's why I commented. I wouldn't have said anything had he been someone quite silent on politics, like say, Bill Gates.

      • moving the factory costs to much so we have to as china says.

        Even Mexico is to much for apple

      • by rsborg ( 111459 )

        Tim Cook is totally outspoken when it comes to gay rights, but when it comes to censorship in China, he becomes a total wuss!!! Should one be surprised? Wonder whether they recognize gay marriage in China, and whether he supports their policy on gays or not? Maybe if one brought to his notice discrimination against gays in China, that he'd make this a personal cause celeb

        Gay rights is something he can influence, where he can influence it. China's views on censorship, not so much. In fact, it would seem that this might be more of a cause suited to Google "indexing all of the worlds information".

        I think that not providing a filtered (read: watered down) Apple News product in China is a principled choice. Once the user runs the appropriate VPN to bypass the GFW, the news shows up.

  • by tommeke100 ( 755660 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @09:07AM (#50703497)
    Think Different commercial [youtube.com]
    1984 commercial [youtube.com]
  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @09:22AM (#50703549)

    ...Is to sell computers with the warning that "News is not supported in your region."

    Chinese users will figure out how to route around the problem.

  • "The software has only been available to users in the U.S.,"

    Works fine in Canada from day one. Even includes the major Canadian newspapers and magazines.

    Nice research.

    • The software is only available to those who have US based accounts. They can travel the world and the app will still work for those users. The exception is China where Apple is disabling it when US users travel there.

      I live in Canada and the app is no where to be seen on my iPhone.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @11:43AM (#50704013)

    Does Apple's News app in china display a message "the shitty masters you put up with won't let you see real news, BITCHES"? I thought not. Apple is one among many actively propping up that hide bound gerontocracy.

    "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." -Lenin. They will also gleefully cooperate with evil bastards.

  • by Forthan Red ( 820542 ) on Sunday October 11, 2015 @02:02PM (#50704619)
    It just goes along with Apple's corporate slogan: "Evil? We're Okay With That."
  • I don't think the article is paying attention. Apple already has a system of censorship on IOS, it's one of its core features. They just need to adjust it to Chinese requirements.
  • Here's my best advice to Tim Cook: Make Apple as independent of China as possible. Some day the Chinese government will make a demand to which Mr. Cook will not comply (because of his conscience), or can not comply (because of US laws).

    What's the worst thing China can do, in response to Apple's refusal? Apple makes most of its money from selling hardware, so the worst thing China could do would be to stop or severely limit Apple's manufacturing in China.

    So I recommend that Mr. Cook and Jeff Williams work to

  • Well, that pretty much sums it up, right? Perhaps Apple should rename the app to... what's Mandarin for Pravda?

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley

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