WTO rules China illegally restricts media imports like iTunes

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    Will they care?.. Maybe. Maybe not.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,124member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    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."
  • Reply 5 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 51
    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...
  • Reply 12 of 51
    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).
  • Reply 13 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    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?



    CarolinaLiberty.com
  • Reply 16 of 51
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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).



  • Reply 17 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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?



    CarolinaLiberty.com



  • Reply 19 of 51
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    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.
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