Apple has removed apps from The New York Times from its app store in China, after “what it said was a request from the Chinese authorities,” according to the Times itself.
Apple took down both English and Chinese-language apps from China’s iTunes store on December 23, the Times said. Apps from other publications like The Wall Street Journal and FT haven’t been banned. It’s worth noting that China began blocking the Times’ websites in 2012, after a series on the wealth of then-Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family.
“We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, told 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.”
A Times spokesperson said the following:
“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.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has run into takedown issues in China. The company’s iBooks and iTunes Movies stores were shut down in China in April, less than six months after they launched in the country.