World Bulletin / News Desk
Apple announced Thursday it has pulled the English and Chinese language versions of the New York Times mobile news app from its App Store in China.
The prohibition comes after a request from the Chinese government, Apple and the New York Times said.
Neither company revealed the reason for the removal but a Chinese regulation passed last summer forbade mobile applications that publish content that violates Chinese law.
"For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Apple spokesman Fred Sainz said in a statement to the Times. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”
Apps featuring content from other American media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Financial Times are still available from Apple’s Chinese App Store.
“The request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country, coverage which is no different from the journalism we do about every other country in the world,” the outlet’s spokeswomen Eileen Murphy said in a statement.
The Chinese government banned the New York Times website in 2012 after it published articles about the immense wealth amassed by the family of Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Prime Minister at the time.
The websites of news outlets including Bloomberg and Time magazine have also been periodically banned in China.
Apple, which has long desired to overtake the lucrative Chinese smartphone market, has banned several apps over the years, most of which allowed users to bypass the government’s restrictive Internet firewalls. Platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter have been prohibited for years.
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