Apple has confirmed that it has disabled its recently launched News app in China. The service, which is yet to officially launch here in the UK, appears to have upset strict media and censorship laws in the People’s Republic.
While the company has not given official word, an inside source speaking with the New York Times said that the service would not work in mainland China.
Worryingly, U.S. users can see content in their News app when they travel overseas despite the service not being supported outside the States, but get a message saying, “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region,” when visiting China.
This shows that rather than Chinese censors preventing access to News, as they do with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, Apple itself has willingly switched off the service.
It essentially means that news downloaded or bought outside of China is being censored en masse. This is already causing consternation among free speech campaigners and has thrown a spotlight on Apple’s growing business in China.
The iPhone 6S’s launch was the first time that Apple has simultaneously launched its flagship product in China and the U.S. It’s believed that move contributed to the company enjoying record opening weekend sales for the device, with revenue from China outstripped only by the U.S.
New York Times