or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple pulls another anti-censorship app from China's iOS App Store
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple pulls another anti-censorship app from China's iOS App Store

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
For the second time in three months, Apple has come under fire for its decision to remove an app designed to circumvent internet censorship in the People's Republic of China.

FreeWeibo


The app, called FreeWeibo, bypasses government restrictions on the Twitter-like Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo and was pulled from the App Store on Friday, according to a report from Agence France-Presse. The app's developer told AFP they believe the Chinese government ordered the takedown.

FreeWeibo, developed in cooperation with Radio Netherlands, offers "uncensored and anonymous Sina Weibo search" and ignores "relevant laws, legislation and policy," according to the service's website. AppleInsider verified the app was unavailable when accessing the mainland Chinese App Store from Hong Kong.

A FreeWeibo representative told AFP that Apple's App Review Board informed the developers the app was removed "because it goes against local laws." Apple has historically erred on the side of caution when dealing with apps that may run afoul of local legislation, especially in China.

In October, the company removed an app called Open Door that allowed iOS device users to bypass internet firewalls, including the so-called "Great Firewall of China." Another app that gave Chinese users access to books banned by the Chinese central government was similarly pulled in April.

The Chinese market is an increasingly important one for Apple, even as controversy swirls around the company's App Store policies and the labor practices of its Chinese suppliers. Apple books nearly $5 billion in revenue from the east Asian nation each quarter, and is said to be nearing an agreement to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier, in a deal that some analysts believe could add as much as $10 billion to Apple's bottom line each year.
post #2 of 40
Cue the "Apple should tell China to go f*** themselves." whiners.

Apple (like all the other companies) has to abide by the rules of the particular country where their products are sold.

Fix the government. This is not Apple's problem.
post #3 of 40

They have to obey the laws of the countries in which they operate. Not really news. 

 

Instead of putting Apple under fire, why not actually fix the problem and put the commies in China under fire? You know, the ones who are responsible for this in the first place? Because if Apple doesn't listen, they'll just ban Apple entirely, just like if Google doesn't listen, they'll ban Google entirely.

 

Post written in TextEdit and copied onto the site because of Huddler unusability.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #4 of 40

Like it or not, if you want to do business in China, you have to follow their rules. Here's actually a good case for Android where you can side load any app you want.

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

Reply
post #5 of 40
Most of these complaining devs with delisted firewall apps (like open door) were just wrapping a simple proxy setting with adware or IAP nagware.

Sources in China state that it's simple to work around censorship, and such nickel&dime apps are just predatory junkware.
post #6 of 40
This is much to do about nothing.

FIRST:

Apple has to OBEY THE LAWS of any country it does business in.

This includes the United States.

This includes China.

Otherwise, Apple would have to stop doing business in China. Since Chinese affluent people make up 3% of the world's population, but buy 30% of the world's luxury goods, this would not make any business sense. China gives Apple a potential 700 MILLION customers.

---

SECOND:

The Chinese are not going to change their sense of morality or their laws even if you don't like them. To change would be like the United States bowing before Muslim morals and law in some countries where woman cannot wear bikinis, where woman have to wear hoods so their faces can't be seen, where women cannot drive. Tit for Tat. Good luck with that.
post #7 of 40
Forget China, Apple likes censorship in the US as well!

http://www.trulytastelessjokes.com/protest/

"Truly Tasteless Jokes was the best-selling paperback of 1982. A pop culture phenomenon, it spawned the first series to occupy four spots on the New York Times bestseller list, countless imitators, and untold hours of helpless laughter.

In November, 2012, we submitted the Truly Tasteless Jokes App to the Apple Review Board. A week later, they rejected it on the basis of offensive content.

We resubmitted the app in early 2013, asking for examples of the content in question so we could address their concerns. Instead, Apple rejected the app on the basis that it was "simply a book" %u2014grounds they conceded six months later had no basis.

In June, 2013, we resubmitted the app after voluntarily blacking out almost half the jokes... Apple rejected it.

We then submitted a version of the app with two-thirds of the jokes redacted... Apple rejected it.

So, we blacked out 85% of the text leaving only the most PG of jokes in the clear and guess what? Apple rejected it yet again.

The App Review board said that "any jokes that are blacked out where the user is unable to read them should be removed from the app."

Not only are they censors with no sense of humor, they don't want you to know it."
post #8 of 40
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
Forget China, Apple likes censorship in the US as well!

 

Except that’s a completely different argument.

 

I don’t have to sell cantaloupes in my store if I don’t want to.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #9 of 40

Of course not, but it doesn’t look good for you when you praise your fine selection of them.

My point is that since Apple censors stuff in the US, how could they ever have moral high ground in China?

 
I had to cut and paste too!
post #10 of 40
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
Of course not, but it doesn’t look good for you when you praise your fine selection of them.

 

Apple isn’t praising a fine selection of Chinese firewall subversion apps. They just aren’t selling them at all. What are you trying to say?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #11 of 40
Don't be evil. Oh wait, wrong company...
post #12 of 40
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
Don't be evil. Oh wait, wrong company...

 

Wrong context, too.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #13 of 40

Say what you will, I respect the hell out of Google for giving up on the China market rather than censoring. (Still not buying their tablets!)

 

But then, I don't own stock in either company. 

post #14 of 40
When in Rome do what the Chinese do
post #15 of 40

It's plain and simple;

Apple must follow the laws and rules of of any country they do business in.

:\

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

They have to obey the laws of the countries in which they operate. Not really news. 

 

Instead of putting Apple under fire, why not actually fix the problem and put the commies in China under fire? You know, the ones who are responsible for this in the first place? Because if Apple doesn't listen, they'll just ban Apple entirely, just like if Google doesn't listen, they'll ban Google entirely.

 

Post written in TextEdit and copied onto the site because of Huddler unusability.

 

LOL that you think China is communist.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post
 

Like it or not, if you want to do business in China, you have to follow their rules. Here's actually a good case for Android where you can side load any app you want.

 

You can do the same thing on iOS through jailbreaking. The difference is that iOS is secure and reliable before you jailbreak it.

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The Chinese are not going to change their sense of morality or their laws even if you don't like them. To change would be like the United States bowing before Muslim morals and law in some countries where woman cannot wear bikinis, where woman have to wear hoods so their faces can't be seen, where women cannot drive. Tit for Tat. Good luck with that.

 

That's a ridiculous analogy. First of all, this is not about "Chinese morality", but about Chinese government oppression and censorship. Secondly, the world is telling China to stop oppressing its people - not to impose more restrictions. Logic fail there.

 

I don't like companies like Apple helping support these oppressive governments, but as a publicly traded company they don't have much choice considering the size of the Chinese market.

post #19 of 40
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

LOL that you think China is communist.

 

LOL, you’re acting like a toddler by pretending it isn’t.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Apple pulls another anti-censorship app from China's iOS App Store
Apple complies with local laws and removes an app designed to subvert those laws, from China's iOS App Store

Fixed that for 'ya AI.
post #21 of 40
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

LOL that you think China is communist.

 

Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

LOL, you’re acting like a toddler by pretending it isn’t.

 

I suspect you're confusing communism with authoritarianism.

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Cue the "Apple should tell China to go f*** themselves." whiners.

Apple (like all the other companies) has to abide by the rules of the particular country where their products are sold.

Fix the government. This is not Apple's problem.

But it's Apple's job to fix government. /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #23 of 40
As an expat living in China I can attest to the fact that it is easy to bypass the Great Chinese Firewall. Even high school kids know how to do it! This is such a non-issue that it doesn't even deserve an article! Conversely, you have the morons at Google that simply pulled out of the market leaving it solely to the Chinese players, and hurting their loyal customers in the process. A truly stupid move from a company pretending like they always take the high ground, which we know is far from the truth.
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post

Of course not, but it doesn’t look good for you when you praise your fine selection of them.

My point is that since Apple censors stuff in the US, how could they ever have moral high ground in China?
 
I had to cut and paste too!

So I should be able to sell an online order meth App in the US, complete with in app purchases because stuff the laws, right?
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #25 of 40

Not at all. What I am saying is that since Apple is quick to censor innocuous things in the good old US of A like jokes that are freely available in other apps already on the appStore - and have a known pedigree with 30 years of history - Apple has ZERO moral high ground to demand anything from China. You go China! Show me what you workin with! Censor what you like. "Like I said, sometimes we bite. Even though you don't think it's right.” - DU

post #26 of 40
Yeah we get it, you're butt hurt. Except Apple's not censoring you. Apple is choosing not to sell your item in its store. You're still more than welcome to sell your book in many many other stores that will have you. That's not the same thing as censorship.
post #27 of 40
Instead of putting Apple under fire, why not actually fix the problem and put the commies in China under fire? You know, the ones who are responsible for this in the first place? Because if Apple doesn't listen, they'll just ban Apple entirely, just like if Google doesn't listen, they'll ban Google entirely.

easy, because the same government is very helpful in sourcing millions of very low wage slaves that apple, google and others thrive on, DUH !
post #28 of 40
Apple needs to comply with local law, she does not need to judge every government, and, besides, China is doing very well in terms of delivering to its citizens in terms of economic growth, and the local population seems to support their government.

Other goodies, like complete freedom of the press will most likely come ones GNP per capita approaches US$10,000 and economic growth slows down to 4% p.a.

No need to push it from outside, it is a natural byproduct of growth and it will come naturally.
post #29 of 40

Do not confuse China (a success story) with other not very democratic states with an stagnant economy. China is a success story, its citizens seem to support their government and are quite proud of their economic achievements. You may prefer India's model (more democratic, less growth), fine, but you cannot dictate your values to China. They are proud of their merits, and deservedly so.

post #30 of 40
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

I suspect you're confusing communism with authoritarianism.

 

I guess Sean Connery’s part of this argument, huh.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #31 of 40
But Diego, you say that apple is not censoring these joke apps, but rather choosing not to sell them in their store.  

On what grounds do you think that decision was made?  According to the press release, the tasteless joke apps don't violate any local laws or AppStore guidelines as the FreeWeibo app did, so not making them available because apple doesn't want the public to see which jokes they redacted seems wrong.

I’m interested to hear your definition of censorship.  This is not snark, I’m genuinely interested in your opinion.

Chris_CA, your headline edit is perfect!
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
 
But Diego, you say that apple is not censoring these joke apps, but rather choosing not to sell them in their store.  

On what grounds do you think that decision was made?  According to the press release, the tasteless joke apps don't violate any local laws or AppStore guidelines as the FreeWeibo app did, so not making them available because apple doesn't want the public to see which jokes they redacted seems wrong.

I’m interested to hear your definition of censorship.  This is not snark, I’m genuinely interested in your opinion.

Chris_CA, your headline edit is perfect!

maybe it sucked?

post #33 of 40

It very well might, but shouldn’t you and I make that determination?

 
Just going by the press releases (http://www.trulytastelessjokes.com/apps), I can’t see how it could possibly suck more than its peers.  At least it looks nice designwise.
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
 
But Diego, you say that apple is not censoring these joke apps, but rather choosing not to sell them in their store.  

On what grounds do you think that decision was made?  According to the press release, the tasteless joke apps don't violate any local laws or AppStore guidelines as the FreeWeibo app did, so not making them available because apple doesn't want the public to see which jokes they redacted seems wrong.

I’m interested to hear your definition of censorship.  This is not snark, I’m genuinely interested in your opinion.

Chris_CA, your headline edit is perfect!

 

In your first post you stated the grounds upon which they rejected your app.  This isn't the government infringing on your right to speech.  This is a private company not listing your app on their store (their private property).  You don't have an innate right to sell an app on Apple's App Store.

post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by enquiry View Post
 

 

In your first post you stated the grounds upon which they rejected your app.

You mean for leaving in blacked out redacted jokes?  When that is made the primary condition of listing their app, what else can you call it but censorship?
 
Apple is basically saying, “Remove all evidence of our censorship (i.e., the redacted jokes) and we post the app.  Keep it in it and we won’t.”
 
Private radio censors music.  Studios censor film.  Publishers censor authors.  Broadcasters censor shows. Apple censors developers.
 
None of these infringe on our constitutional rights, but they are all forms of censorship nonetheless.  
 
Do you not believe that censorship exists in private and institutional settings as well?
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
 
You mean for leaving in blacked out redacted jokes?  When that is made the primary condition of listing their app, what else can you call it but censorship?
 
Apple is basically saying, “Remove all evidence of our censorship (i.e., the redacted jokes) and we post the app.  Keep it in it and we won’t.”
 
Private radio censors music.  Studios censor film.  Publishers censor authors.  Broadcasters censor shows. Apple censors developers.
 
None of these infringe on our constitutional rights, but they are all forms of censorship nonetheless.  
 
Do you not believe that censorship exists in private and institutional settings as well?

 

Yes I do believe it exists.  I also believe they have every right to do what they wish with the app store as it is their private property.  Just like you have the right/option to sell your app elsewhere.  If Apple goes too far then they should pay the price in the market.   It's not like there aren't other companies competing against them.

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post

Apple rejected the app on the basis that it was "simply a book"
 

 

So why wasn't it submitted as an iBook, rather than an App?

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by enquiry View Post
 

 

Yes I do believe it exists.  I also believe they have every right to do what they wish with the app store as it is their private property.  Just like you have the right/option to sell your app elsewhere.  If Apple goes too far then they should pay the price in the market.   It's not like there aren't other companies competing against them.

I agree with you 100% that Apple has every right to do whatever they want when it comes to their distribution channels.  However, by continuing to censor silly things like this, they erode any moral high ground they might have in a censorship debate.  As you said, market forces will ultimately guide their decision making.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

So why wasn't it submitted as an iBook, rather than an App?

I have no interest in the ePub versions that have been available for iBooks, Kindle, and Nook (is this still even a thing?) for some time.
 
 
I want the truly tasteless jokes app for my phone because I loved the series when I was younger and they claim to offer functionality beyond that of linear static-text ePubs. 
 
ps - Loved your “problem occurred...” footer.
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bminsterfuller View Post
 

It very well might, but shouldn’t you and I make that determination?

 
Just going by the press releases (http://www.trulytastelessjokes.com/apps), I can’t see how it could possibly suck more than its peers.  At least it looks nice designwise.

I visited that link.
one thing it said was "Available on app store"
some of the jokes ARE pretty inappropriate ... and truly tasteless...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple pulls another anti-censorship app from China's iOS App Store