Apple has removed the New York Times app from its Chinese App Store after a request from the Chinese government.
According to a report by the New York Times itself Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store in China on 23 December, and said the move came as part of a wider attempt by the Chinese government to prevent readers in the country from accessing independent news coverage.
"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," a spokesperson for the newspaper said.
Apple said they had been informed the app violated Chinese regulations but did not say what rules had been broken.
"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," an Apple spokesman said.
"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."
While Apple didn't say much about the regulations that were allegedly violated, the New York Times suggested it was due to regulations introduced in June which outlaw apps that might be "endangering national security, disrupting social order and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others".
This controversial move comes less than a year after Apple's own iTunes Movies and iBooks Store services went dark in China as part of a crackdown on online services owned by foreign companies that compete directly with similar offerings from Chinese companies.
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