Apple disables iOS News app in China amid censorship concerns



  • Reply 61 of 68
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    There's a difference between restricting things due to broadcast rights/licensing and restricting things due to the government wanting to censor what their citizens see. I can't watch every baseball game on TV unless I have an MLB subscription. Same with the NFL. Is that really censorship? I don't think so.

    A better analogy would be taking Apple to task for restricting child pornography on their devices. It’s against the law to publish child pornography here and the government is restricting their citizens’ ability to see it. In fact there are criminal penalties for doing so. Censorship? Technically yes it is.


    Get off your righteous indignation hobby horse for once. You know exactly what predicament Apple is in here and by themselves they have little choice but to comply or stop doing business in China, period. While perhaps the courageous thing to do it would surely be corporate suicide. Investors certainly would NOT understand, competitors definitely WOULD take advantage, and the U.S. Government would let Apple twist in the wind all by itself. Hell, the U.S. Government itself looks the other way when it comes to China’s human rights history.


    Demanding that Apple stand up against China on it’s own is ridiculous but that’s apparently what you want, right?

    Your standpoint only makes sense when you assume that making money is the highest priority and the only thing that matters. Only then can you turn off your ethical objections and feel warm and smug. But other people place a higher value on a social conscience than you do. We do NOT share your values at all. Of course Apple will not bring down the regime by itself, but maintaining a deafening silence to oppression in order to benefit the shareholders is a very American value. That's why the US is an oligarchy dressed up as a democracy. Corporations rule. If you don't believe that ... read up on TTIP and TTP.


    Of course if everybody followed your guidelines nobody would ever speak out on any injustice or repression no matter where and by whom. Follow that through to the logical conclusion if you have the balls/brains to do it. It leads to nowhere nice to be.

  • Reply 62 of 68
    croprcropr Posts: 1,096member

    Originally Posted by jlanganki View Post

    I like that Apple does this. They're making it clear that "News" in China would be a watered-down version of reality; therefore, rather than giving people an imperfect experience, they turn you away completely and encourage you to find a complete source.

    Apple is not in the business in making something clear.  On the contrary, the strategy of Apple is to communicate as little as possible.  Your post is nothing but speculation.  Nobody but Apple knows the real reason.

  • Reply 63 of 68
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Wait, so anyone disappointed with something Apple does must immediately stop using Apple products? I think that argument is lame. I can be unhappy with Apple and their acquiescence of Chinese government policies and still like my Apple products. And yes, I'd like to see Tim Cook risk a bit more 'political capital', if you want to call it that, for free speech and human rights in China. My guess is that never came up at the State Dinner Obama threw for the Chinese leader which many tech leaders including Tim Cook attended.

    I keep thinking about the car Apple is allegedly working on and how great it would be if Apple's first big new product line was manufactured somewhere other than China. And I think if they are doing a car it's entirely possible.
  • Reply 64 of 68
    When In Rome do like what a Roman does so it jolly well be the same if your device enters China land! If they don't want you to read news out side of China land so be it read it else where....
  • Reply 65 of 68

    Did I not read that right?

    Apple is shutting down News because it doesn't want to censor.

  • Reply 66 of 68
    shaminoshamino Posts: 512member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    "What worries me, is that the mechanism Apple uses to disable the News app and Apple Maps uses the location of the user to change the behavior of their device without their permission, even if the location service is disabled in the privacy settings," Salibra writes. (Emphasis in the original.)


    There are more ways than location services for the server to know where you are.  It can just look at the IP address of the incoming packets.  If they're coming from the Chinese government's proxy servers, then you're in China.  No need to involve your phone at all.


    Has anyone checked to see what happens if someone in China uses a Western VPN?  Then, the packets will come from the VPN's network and not China.  When I was in Beijing on business, I found no problem accessing the entire world via my corporate VPN, even though a lot of stuff was blocked when trying to connect directly.


    And, as someone else pointed out, it might not even be something Apple is doing.  If the phone is trying to access the News server, and the Chinese proxies are blocking the request, the phone might simply be generating this error in response to the HTTP error.  Has anyone tried accessing News from a corporate network that is blocking access to the News server through its firewall/proxy server?


    All this having been said, is it really a case of censorship or just a server that's not turned on yet?


    News, by its nature, is local and news apps always have sections for local and national news, alongside the world news.  When I'm in New York, I want to see New York news.  When I'm in Washington DC, I want DC news.  When I'm in Denmark, I would expect to see Danish news.  When I'm in Canada, or Russia, or Israel or Brazil, I would expect to see Canadian, Russian, Israeli and Brazillian news (respectively.)  And when I'm in China, I would expect to see Chinese news.


    It would be logical for Apple to set up a news server (or server farm) in each country, since performance would be terrible if everybody worldwide was hitting a single server.  If Apple hasn't yet set up the Chinese (or Danish or Canadian or Russian...) news servers, then the error message reported here would be perfectly understandable.


    We may very well be seeing nothing more than a symptom of the fact that Apple didn't want to wait for every nation's server to go live before releasing the News app.

  • Reply 67 of 68
    I learned today the News app is not accessible in Ireland and France so China is not an isolated incident. I wonder if AI or any other outlet will rise above the minutiae to report all countries the News app cannot be accessed.
  • Reply 68 of 68
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,083member

    Is people really comparing geolocking of copyrighted material to government censorhip_

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