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WTO rules China illegally restricts media imports like iTunes

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
The World Trade Organization ruled this week that China is obstructing trade by forcing foreign suppliers to deliver media through state-owned companies, thereby blocking services like a native iTunes.

The Chinese government on Tuesday expressed "regret" over the WTO's ruling. China utilizes the practice to review movies, music and books for objectionable content before it is released to the public.

Despite the popularity of iPods and iPhones from Apple, China does not have its own iTunes Music Store. U.S. media companies believe that this is due to the government's policies that place restrictions on selling content directly to the public.

In 2008, the Chinese government came under fire after it temporarily blocked access to the U.S. iTunes store in reaction to the release of the album "Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace." The store returned days later, but without access to the pro-Tibet album.

The Chinese government has long blocked access to Web sites it feels are objectionable, including subjects like Tibet and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Access to the U.S. iTunes store was blocked during the Olympics in Beijing, when the Chinese government's censorship practices were in the spotlight.

U.S. media companies kept the focus on China after the Olympics with complaints to the WTO. According to The Associated Press, music labels including EMI and Sony Music Entertainment, publishers like McGraw Hill and Simon & Schuster, and Hollwood movie studios Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox were involved.

The WTO ruling could mean that the U.S. could ask to have commercial sanctions against Chinese goods, if the nation fails to address the situation in the next year. The Chinese government offered no indication of its next move.

Even without an official store in the nation of over one billion, iTunes has become a global phenomenon, launching in numerous countries. It is the largest overall seller of music in the U.S., with a 25 percent share of the total market.
post #2 of 52
Will they care?.. Maybe. Maybe not.
post #3 of 52
Duh! It's frakkin' China! (to the topic post, not the reply above).

When will people realize China is a communist country and couldn't give a rat's ass about unrestricted access to something?
post #4 of 52
China blocks objectionable content? That gives you the idea that China is just trying to protect its citizens from child pornography or something. No. It's trying to restrict political content. Not the same thing. Don't use fuzzy language that obscures the facts.
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

China blocks objectionable content? That gives you the idea that China is just trying to protect its citizens from child pornography or something. No. It's trying to restrict political content. Not the same thing. Don't use fuzzy language that obscures the facts.

But China itself is calling that content "objectionable." We outside of China *know* it's really political content, as evidenced by the explanation of what the Chinese government finds "objectionable."
post #6 of 52
Man, how do people even live in such a country.

I have an indian friend who shifted there to work at a manufacturing plant of an indian mobile phone company and he told even blogspot was banned in china and now twitter too.
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post #7 of 52
I don't understand the hubbub. China and Apple are like two peas in a pod, both like controlling what the users can see or do.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post

I don't understand the hubbub. China and Apple are like two peas in a pod, both like controlling what the users can see or do.

Good point
post #9 of 52
i feel sorry for people in china. with today's modern weaponry, i doubt anybody could stage a revolution anymore. the french and american revolutions simply would not be possible as the rebellious militias would be crushed.

i always wondered how the chinese were allowed to come to america on student visas and such. they can obviously view what it's like to not be censured by government. everyone in china must have an idea of what it's like to live in the democratic world.

in any event, i doubt any piece of content on itunes could possibly contain any messages of political dissent towards china. i would think that apple could modify their content policy for the chinese store just like google has modified their search engine for the chinese version.
post #10 of 52
You're all wrong...every single one of you. China is doing this to localize its economy so that the global collapsing economy won't affect it. Thanks to the US and the UK, the entire world will remain in a deep depression for years to come while China will be immune. You may think what they're doing is communistic or selfish but it's just survival. On the other hand, none of you Americans have the right to call China communistic when your very country is heading down that path faster than you can say Oh-bummer.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

You're all wrong...every single one of you. China is doing this to localize its economy so that the global collapsing economy won't affect it. Thanks to the US and the UK, the entire world will remain in a deep depression for years to come while China will be immune. You may think what they're doing is communistic or selfish but it's just survival. On the other hand, none of you Americans have the right to call China communistic when your very country is heading down that path faster than you can say Oh-bummer.

Oh really now? Exactly how far do you think they'll get without being able to trade with the other companies and nations who turn to china for cheaper manufactured goods so they can reap higher profits on what it cost to make it (hi apple).

While the entertainment industry wants to crack into China, the govt won't let them, and if its still in effect China only gets 10 foreign films to get a theatrical release every year due to them wanting to bolster their own movie industry and keep competitors out. Hell even Sony and other companies didn't want blu-ray over there cause they knew they were going to have cheap blu-ray players out and crash the market price for them (they are trying to recoup money on that venture).

China will crumble if they can't trade with anyone beyond their shores, outside sources have turned to china for cheaper manufacturing and from this money they have made many upstart companies and thus what China is today, a bolstering economy that is growing faster than anyone right now
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Duh! It's frakkin' China! (to the topic post, not the reply above).

When will people realize China is a communist country and couldn't give a rat's ass about unrestricted access to something?

as a member of WTO china has to act...! if they fail to do so trade sanction can, and in this case will be imposed...

the article explains this pretty good... please READ the full article...
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post #13 of 52
It's so amusing to see U.S. citizens declaring China as a "communist" State when their own country, due to its own absence of regulations and the criminal contributions of "geniuses" such as Greenspan, Madoff et al, continues to go down a path that would make most former socialist States pale in comparison. Your disregard to terminology is so befuddling that even talk of "universal health care" makes someone out there cry "communist" when such a thing should be clearly seen as a duty of the State (just like security) in conjunction with private healthcare or a personal bodyguard.

China has more billionaires than the U.S., produces everything you guys buy in your own country (including Apple products), continues to grow at a frightening pace in all senses and has barely felt the impact of a crisis that your country has created with obscure collateral products and a gigantic foreign-financed deficit.

Apart from censorship and an obvious concern for security, which also exist in many so-called "civilized" countries in the form of State secrets, illegal prisons like Guantánamo, one-sided media and "hate speech" laws, China has little of difference to other countries...for instance, Switzerland has similar State controls in pretty much every area of business (or State-supported duopolies) and nobody says anything; no wonder every company in the world is already investing there both for exporting and internal consumption purposes (for a booming Chinese middle and high class).
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post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

as a member of WTO china has to act...! if they fail to do so trade sanction can, and in this case will be imposed...

the article explains this pretty good... please READ the full article...

Exactly, and this takes the form of trade retaliation or imposition of import taxes on Chinese products...just like what happened to the US for their illegal subsidization of cotton production against the much more efficient Brazilian farmers. The retaliations against the US in this case will amount to almost 1 billion dollars alone.
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post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Duh! It's frakkin' China! (to the topic post, not the reply above).

When will people realize China is a communist country and couldn't give a rat's ass about unrestricted access to something?

..And America isn't far behind.
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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

Man, how do people even live in such a country.

I have an indian friend who shifted there to work at a manufacturing plant of an indian mobile phone company and he told even blogspot was banned in china and now twitter too.

One might ask the same question of Americans. Or rather, why don't Americans stand up to ever-increasing encroachments on liberty?

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post #17 of 52
All good points. You forgot to add that China essentially owns a good portion of the United States, as the United States owes China 772 Billion dollars. China is the US's biggest creditor. You can't be free when you owe the man money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

It's so amusing to see U.S. citizens declaring China as a "communist" State when their own country, due to its own absence of regulations and the criminal contributions of "geniuses" such as Greenspan, Madoff et al, continues to go down a path that would make most former socialist States pale in comparison. Your disregard to terminology is so befuddling that even talk of "universal health care" makes someone out there cry "communist" when such a thing should be clearly seen as a duty of the State (just like security) in conjunction with private healthcare or a personal bodyguard.

China has more billionaires than the U.S., produces everything you guys buy in your own country (including Apple products), continues to grow at a frightening pace in all senses and has barely felt the impact of a crisis that your country has created with obscure collateral products and a gigantic foreign-financed deficit.

Apart from censorship and an obvious concern for security, which also exist in many so-called "civilized" countries in the form of State secrets, illegal prisons like Guantánamo, one-sided media and "hate speech" laws, China has little of difference to other countries...for instance, Switzerland has similar State controls in pretty much every area of business (or State-supported duopolies) and nobody says anything; no wonder every company in the world is already investing there both for exporting and internal consumption purposes (for a booming Chinese middle and high class).
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Apart from censorship and an obvious concern for security, which also exist in many so-called "civilized" countries in the form of State secrets, illegal prisons like Guantánamo, one-sided media and "hate speech" laws

You're from Switzerland. You, most of all have no standing to criticize the United States or any other country for their immoral practices.

Your country was Hitler's bankers. Even though you declared neutrality in WWII there was popular support for the Nazis in Switzerland. Even today, Switzerland refuses to return to their rightful descendants money the Nazis looted from Jews and deposited in Swiss banks. After WWII, your country continued to do business with Mafia dons, drug lords, third world tyrants, embezzlers and tax cheats.

Switzerland likes to present itself as an orderly, upright, and corruption-free country. But everyone knows right beneath that respectable facade, you are one of the few countries that as a matter of national policy welcomed business from criminals, human rights abusers, and genocidal maniacs.
post #19 of 52
Yes, we Americans are pretty whacked. Our government complains that Google is censoring speech on the Chinese government's behalf. Yet, the same government gives tax breaks to american companies that move american manufacturing jobs to China, which benefits China because American companies pay China for the privilege. Before Apple wasn't allowed to build certain Macs in China because the technology was considered a security threat to have developed in countries like China [anybody remember the Power Mac tank commercials). Now all such technology is build over there. Further, Americans are essentially forced to try and compete with slave labor. Sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuncyWeb View Post

One might ask the same question of Americans. Or rather, why don't Americans stand up to ever-increasing encroachments on liberty?

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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

You're all wrong...every single one of you. China is doing this to localize its economy so that the global collapsing economy won't affect it. Thanks to the US and the UK, the entire world will remain in a deep depression for years to come while China will be immune. You may think what they're doing is communistic or selfish but it's just survival. On the other hand, none of you Americans have the right to call China communistic when your very country is heading down that path faster than you can say Oh-bummer.

Is that the propaganda the Chinese govements feeds it's people to explain their actions? China has been limiting its people's access to information for many, many years. Long before the current economic crisis. In what way does limiting access to information "localize its economy"? It's censorship, pure and simple. And I'm not saying censorship doesn't exist in other countries. Even in the US there are certain things you can't say on broadcast TV (but there are many other legal avenues where you can access content that can't be broadcast). China and a few other countries go far beyond that in controlling what their citizens can and cannot access.

Go ahead and say it's for the moral good of the citizens and we can debate that. Just don't pretend it has anything to do with protecting their economy.
post #21 of 52
My question is whether Americans' embrace of an absolute free-market ideology is becoming powerful enough to threaten liberty: if China succeeds economically while being repressive, some Americans may actually think that "proves" there's no money in freedom and America should be like China: virtually enslave the masses and propagandize them to believe their lives' ambition should be to see the state prosper, not themselves personally.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

You're all wrong...every single one of you. China is doing this to localize its economy so that the global collapsing economy won't affect it. Thanks to the US and the UK, the entire world will remain in a deep depression for years to come while China will be immune. You may think what they're doing is communistic or selfish but it's just survival. On the other hand, none of you Americans have the right to call China communistic when your very country is heading down that path faster than you can say Oh-bummer.

Puh-lease. China cannot be where it is if the US isn't where it is. China's growth was dependent on the US keeping their markets open and consuming like there was no tomorrow. I don't know if you are Chinese, but the Chinese can hardly criticize the US for the economic policies that fostered China's growth.

Furthermore, the Chinese cannot blame the US solely for the global consumption imbalance that led to the credit bubble that caused the current collapse. Half of that imbalance is directly attributable to China's policy of keeping their currency grossly and artificially overvalued. So now that policy has led to China holding trillions of dollars of US government bonds that are worth far less than the numbers printed on them. Boo hoo. Cry me a river.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

My question is whether Americans' embrace of an absolute free-market ideology is becoming powerful enough to threaten liberty: if China succeeds economically while being repressive, some Americans may actually think that "proves" there's no money in freedom and America should be like China: virtually enslave the masses and propagandize them to believe their lives' ambition should be to see the state prosper, not themselves personally.

Don't worry. All middle classes, in all countries, when they reach a certain level of economic prosperity will demand the trappings of "middle class respectability". i.e. the political and artistic freedoms that their counterparts in other countries enjoy. As they get wealthier, travel more, read more, and basically see more, they will want the same things for themselves. Frankly, they start to feel embarrassed and indignant that the state treats them like children. It just happened in South Korea, it also jut happened in Spain, it's going to happen in China. And soon.

No country can have a large, wealthy, educated, cosmopolitan middle class and remain repressive. It's against human nature. Against man's innate craving for dignity and self-respect once his belly is full. The question is, will the Chinese leadership resist it or embrace it?
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Puh-lease. China cannot be where it is if the US isn't where it is. China's growth was dependent on the US keeping their markets open and consuming like there was no tomorrow. I don't know if you are Chinese, but the Chinese can hardly criticize the US for the economic policies that fostered China's growth.

Furthermore, the Chinese cannot blame the US solely for the global consumption imbalance that led to the credit bubble that caused the current collapse. Half of that imbalance is directly attributable to China's policy of keeping their currency grossly and artificially overvalued. So now that policy has led to China holding trillions of dollars of US government bonds that are worth far less than the numbers printed on them. Boo hoo. Cry me a river.

Instead of crying you a river I'll instead giggle uncontrollably at your ignorance.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

You're from Switzerland. You, most of all have no standing to criticize the United States or any other country for their immoral practices.

Your country was Hitler's bankers. Even though you declared neutrality in WWII there was popular support for the Nazis in Switzerland. Even today, Switzerland refuses to return to their rightful descendants money the Nazis looted from Jews and deposited in Swiss banks. After WWII, your country continued to do business with Mafia dons, drug lords, third world tyrants, embezzlers and tax cheats.

Switzerland likes to present itself as an orderly, upright, and corruption-free country. But everyone knows right beneath that respectable facade, you are one of the few countries that as a matter of national policy welcomed business from criminals, human rights abusers, and genocidal maniacs.

No, I am NOT from Switzerland; and even if I were, my points would remain the same. And please, don't come with the more-than-tired "the Holocaust explains it all" line for throwing guilt upon people. There was also a lot of support for Nazis in the US before Pearl Harbor made you join the fray. In fact, Switzerland rightly refuses to give money to people that cannot prove their claims; "hearsay" evidence does not count as a strong argument anymore, ya know.

And if it's about the "truth", why not talk about the Katyn massacre, considered to be a German atrocity for 50 years? As for the rest of your BS about banks (since Switzerland has absolutely nothing to do if countries prefer to engage in corruption), you'd better ask Greenspan and Madoff about it...they are more than experts in stealing from people in your own country.
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post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

My question is whether Americans' embrace of an absolute free-market ideology is becoming powerful enough to threaten liberty: if China succeeds economically while being repressive, some Americans may actually think that "proves" there's no money in freedom and America should be like China: virtually enslave the masses and propagandize them to believe their lives' ambition should be to see the state prosper, not themselves personally.

This happens already in the US. Just check how many neutral documentaries on Palestine are broadcast everyday on CNN and Fox...I also suggest you read "Have a Nice Doomsday" to see how the Bible Belt and the whacko religious fanatics in "America" interpret sacred texts to kill people and start illegal conflicts.
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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

You're all wrong...every single one of you. China is doing this to localize its economy so that the global collapsing economy won't affect it. Thanks to the US and the UK, the en tire world will remain in a deep depression for years to come while China will be immune. You may think what they're doing is communistic or selfish but it's just survival. On the other hand, none of you Americans have the right to call China communistic when your very country is heading down that path faster than you can say Oh-bummer.

then why block wikipedia ?

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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Is that the propaganda the Chinese govements feeds it's people to explain their actions? China has been limiting its people's access to information for many, many years. Long before the current economic crisis. In what way does limiting access to information "localize its economy"? It's censorship, pure and simple. And I'm not saying censorship doesn't exist in other countries. Even in the US there are certain things you can't say on broadcast TV (but there are many other legal avenues where you can access content that can't be broadcast). China and a few other countries go far beyond that in controlling what their citizens can and cannot access.

Go ahead and say it's for the moral good of the citizens and we can debate that. Just don't pretend it has anything to do with protecting their economy.

I'm not here to debate whether what China is doing is good or bad...or right or wrong...I'm here to explain that it's a question of survival as the economy collapses because of the US and the UK.

I know that China's communistic ways are bad and wrong. The US and the UK are headed in that same direction...except they'll be bankrupt and China will become the new superpower. Does that make me happy? Absolutely not. Perhaps one day there will be Chinese soldiers patrolling american soil in search of al Qaeda and killing innocent american civilians in the process.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Perhaps one day there will be Chinese soldiers patrolling american soil in search of al Qaeda and killing innocent american civilians in the process.

Ditto here...maybe then will US citizens understand why so many civilians in other countries hate them so much for their own illegal interventions over the past 100 years..."Destiny manifest" my ass.
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post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

then why block wikipedia ?

Because China is using atrocious means to get what they want. I never said I agreed with the way China is trying to become a superpower.
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuncyWeb View Post

One might ask the same question of Americans. Or rather, why don't Americans stand up to ever-increasing encroachments on liberty?

The iPhone is the opiate of the masses.
post #32 of 52
I think it's a good move by China. Why should it Kowtow to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats from the WTO.

It's also rather amusing the way some of you offer sympathy to the Chinese people. It's a fantastic country steeped in history and culture.

They just want to preserve what they have and keep out the Oligarch's and neoliberals in that are sucking us dry.
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I think it's a good move by China. Why should it Kowtow to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats from the WTO.

Because China is a signatory to the various agreements which authorize the WTO. They are members of the WTO.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Ditto here...maybe then will US citizens understand why so many civilians in other countries hate them so much for their own illegal interventions over the past 100 years..."Destiny manifest" my ass.

To think that most US citizens agree with all of our government's actions is just as idiotic as US citizens thinking most Chinese people agree and support their government's actions. This goes for every country in the world. Just because we (and others) elect leaders democratically doesn't make them 100% correct and "For the People by the People".

One thing is for certain, though. We get to see what our government is doing in other countries. Some choose to ignore it, some agree and salute it, and others disagree and protest it. Chinese or Cubans, or the people of the (old)USSR don't get such liberties to watch how blatantly arrogant and self serving their governments are. They are spoon-fed information and aren't allowed to talk about it on the street if they disagree. They can only smile and say what a great job their government is doing. Sometimes they might even get in trouble for that.

To hope someone else suffers because they caused suffering doesn't fix the underlying problem.
post #35 of 52
All of the china bashers are wrong. I think that conficionism, which is a chinese philosophy somewhat lends itself to the system of government they have now. Not everyone has to have democracy. When and if the time comes when chinese people feel that they want a new form of government they will change it themselves just like the people in the Soviet Union did. It will be quick and relaltively non violent. For now I get the feeling that most chinese are happy with the communist party and economic growth it promises.

Oh and as far as blocking iTunes, or twitter, that is going a bit overboard I think.
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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Not everyone has to have democracy.

Yes they do because anything different from my culture scares the bejeebies out of me.
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post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The World Trade Organization ruled this week that China is obstructing trade by forcing foreign suppliers to deliver media through state-owned companies, thereby blocking services like a native iTunes.

The Chinese government has long blocked access to Web sites it feels are objectionable

And what countries don't or haven't?

The list is rather short. And the US is not one of them, as is the rest of the 38 so called developed countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developed_country

It is amazing how many ignorant people profess to be so intelligent.

The Chinese communist revolution just celebrated its 60th anniversary.

And admittedly, the people are not free. But not as oppressed as some here contend. Keep in mind that black men weren't allowed to vote in the US until 1868, nearly 90 years after signing of the Constitution and for women, not until 1920 was the 19th Amendment fully ratified by all states.* Do the math.

And the state of world affairs becomes an argument over iTunes? Maybe Jobs is god after all.

* http://dpsinfo.com/women/history/timeline.html
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Keep in mind that black men weren't allowed to vote in the US until 1868, nearly 90 years after signing of the Constitution and for women, not until 1920 was the 19th Amendment fully ratified by all states.* Do the math.

And a fair majority of us here were alive in 1967 when the US Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were illegal. Just two years before we landed on the moon.
Quote:
And the state of world affairs becomes an argument over iTunes? Maybe Jobs is god after all.

Cupertino is Mecca/Jerusalem/Vatican and Apple Stores are mosques/synagogues/churches?
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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And a fair majority of us here were alive in 1967 when the US Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegegation laws were illegal. Just two years before we landed on the moon.

Cupertino is Mecca/Jerusalem/Vatican and Apple Stores are mosques/synagogues/churches?

Yes I remember both events quite vividly.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Cupertino is Mecca/Jerusalem/Vatican and Apple Stores are mosques/synagogues/churches?

Hmmm. Never thought of it that way. However, I never prayed more for a place I would like to go to.
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