The media censorship polices in China have plagued the existence of US heavyweights like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. in mainland China. Not only are its policies hard to dodge, but also make functioning in the country equal to impossible.
The latest to join the list is the Apple News app — which has been disabled by its parent company for the users in China. Apple has kept mum on its decision to ban the app that was launched in June this year.
As of now the app is only available to users in the US. But, residents of the nation travelling aboard can still access the app, except if they happen to land in China, where amongst Gmail, Google, Facebook, the app will also cease to function.
Since Apple is yet to make an announcement, the only sign of its ban is “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region” message reported by users in China. It is also speculated that the app may reappear in the market and ban has more to do with Apple figuring out delivery of new content than China’s media policies.
The Chinese market happens to be Apple’s second-largest after the United States. Its sales figure of more than $13 billion for the third quarter speaks volumes of its stronghold in the market amidst the rise of home-grown budget smartphone makers.
In order to survive in China, Apple may be devising a censorship system for the app, which will ensure that the news items on the app stay out of the scanner.
Apple is also in testing mode for the app’s functionality in two new markets, Britain and Australia, where the app is expected to be launched next.