Apple news-churn app mysteriously stops churning news in China

Did Cupertino impose blanket censorship to avoid patchwork quilt censorship from Beijing?

Apple's URL-redirect news app has stopped working behind the Great Firewall of China, it has emerged.

Even articles saved by those who are too fearful of the world to venture outside the walled garden for their news have been blocked.

The New York Times noted that Apple News users in China needed to convince Cupertino that they were registering from the US to get onto the service.

“According to a person with direct knowledge of the situation” as the NYT, puts it (presumably in reference to this blog post, to which the newspaper didn't directly link), even Americans travelling in China have found the app doesn't work in the Middle Kingdom.

The NYT speculated that the move came, not from China blocking the feeds, but by Apple deciding it was safer to avoid the country rather than try to censor articles that would offend Beijing's sensibilities.

Larry Saibra's Apple News China demo

Larry Saibra's Apple News China demo

Larry Salibra, whose blog post kicked off the kerfuffle, said: “the mechanism Apple uses to disable the News app and Apple Maps uses the location of the user to change the behaviour of their device without their permission, even if the location service is disabled in the privacy settings.” ®

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