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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,078member
    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.
  • Reply 2 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.

  • Reply 3 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.

  • Reply 4 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.
  • Reply 5 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.
  • Reply 6 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."
  • Reply 7 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.

  • Reply 8 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!
  • Reply 9 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?

  • Reply 10 of 40
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,496member
    Don't be evil. Oh wait, wrong company...
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

    Don't be evil. Oh wait, wrong company...

     

    Wrong context, too.

  • Reply 12 of 40
    arlorarlor Posts: 477member

    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 40
    When in Rome do what the Chinese do
  • Reply 14 of 40
    joshajosha Posts: 901member

    It's plain and simple;

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

    :\

  • Reply 15 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.

  • Reply 16 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.

  • Reply 17 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.

  • Reply 18 of 40

    This is a best best approach for businesses.

    i think  every person follow the strictly rules and regulations.

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

    I wanna discus on this topic so i m waiting your reply.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

    Media Relations

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 20 of 40
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,541member
    [quote]Apple pulls another anti-censorship app from China's iOS App Store[/quote]
    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.
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