iPhone users in China are no longer able to download the app for the most popular newspaper publisher in the U.S.
Chinese government officials reportedly demanded that Apple remove all of The New York Times apps from the App Store in China, blocking access to one of the few channels the paper has to reach readers in mainland China.
The removal occurred on December 23rd, according to The New York Times which was told by Apple that the app breaks the law in China.
“We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman told the paper. “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.”
The day before the NYT app was pulled from the App Store in China, the NYT pubbed this story. https://t.co/cZJAcrpYwR
— katie benner (@ktbenner) January 4, 2017
Both the English and Chinese versions of the apps were pulled from the store. Other apps from publications like The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times are still available on the App Store, though they could become the government’s next targets.
This isn’t the first time China has come down on Apple’s stores. Last year, China’s government shut down the iBookstore and iTunes Movie store just six months after they launched.
A spokesperson for The Times claims Chinese authorities removed the paper’s apps in an attempt to block readers in China from accessing independent news coverage on the country. Apple did not state which laws the app violates.