Apple pulls book-selling iOS app in China due to government-banned titles

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Just days after Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook apologized to customers in China over warranty issues, his company has continued its efforts to placate the country's government by pulling a book-selling iOS application.

The App Store software was removed because it provided access to 10 titles that are banned in the country, according to the Financial Times. Among the books are three works by Chinese political activist Wang Lixiong.

Chinese App Store


One of the books was reportedly about what the author sees as the future collapse of the Chinese government. Another title dealt with the future of China's policies in Tibet.

Another book by Wang gives details on when he was detained by Chinese state security officers. While it was pulled in China, the online bookstore application remains available in other App Stores outside of the country. The name of the bookstore application was not revealed in Thursday's report.

Cook issued his apology in China earlier this week, saying that his company did not wish to seem full of "arrogance" by not addressing concerns. Those alleged warranty issues were drummed up by China's state-sponsored media, which ran a series of stories criticizing Apple in what many outsiders viewed as a coordinated attack.

China's state-sponsored media is well known for targeting foreign companies, so much so that it has become known as a "rite of passage" for international corporations. Previous targets of the Chinese media include Yum! Brands Inc. and Volkswagen AG.

Apple specifically was under fire from the media for failing to replace the back covers of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S units after repairing the electronics inside. Under the changes announced this week, Apple will now provide customers with full iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S replacements, and will reset the hardware's warranty to one year in the event that it is replaced.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Instead of doing what is right, Cook succumbs to the Communists -- weak move, IMHO.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    SNAFU. It's China, what else can we expect?
  • Reply 3 of 16
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Instead of doing what is right, Cook succumbs to the Communists -- weak move, IMHO.

    So he's wrong if he stands up to them (warranty issue) but he's also wrong if he gives them what he wants. /s
  • Reply 4 of 16
    mehranmehran Posts: 53member
    Apple is a global company and they should be follow each country's rules and adhere to local culture. It is not Apple's role to nudge another country's direction. That is the responsibilities of that countries people. What is right for us is not necessarily right for others.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    netroxnetrox Posts: 758member
    China has always made it clear that they have absolute power over what can be sold and cannot be sold. International companies always have to abide with their country rules. If you think that makes Tim Cook "weak", try google and microsoft and so forth. They all have to abide with Chinese rules.
  • Reply 6 of 16

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post



    Instead of doing what is right, Cook succumbs to the Communists -- weak move, IMHO.


    It is right in their eye's, so any respectful company would play by their rules.  It would arrogant to assume that the way things are in the US is the way it should be everywhere.

  • Reply 7 of 16
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member
    Well as much as this sucks - It is their market. Just like Apple controls the AppStore the Chinese control their local market/economy. They set the rules for doing business in it.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Instead of doing what is right, Cook succumbs to the Communists -- weak move, IMHO.

    That is overly simplistic sound-biting.
    If you think about it, Apple has is very conservative about controversial content, choosing to pull titles from their store over any complaints. Remember: they've pulled titles at the behest of Congress too. I don't detect any pro-Communist bias in Apple's application of their policies.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    philgarphilgar Posts: 93member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by netrox View Post



    China has always made it clear that they have absolute power over what can be sold and cannot be sold. International companies always have to abide with their country rules. If you think that makes Tim Cook "weak", try google and microsoft and so forth. They all have to abide with Chinese rules.


    In bringing up google, you chose a VERY poor example.  Google was in china, but after being told what they had to censor, they left the market.  Google moved their servers from mainland china so that they didn't have to provide censorship for the dictators in charge.  In this example, google's principles (do no evil) were more important than the potential profit they could make from working with the human rights abusing government that is China.  If only more companies were willing to prioritize the rights of the people more than the power the government has to spy on and censor people,we would have fewer dictatorships like China.  


     


    Phil

  • Reply 10 of 16
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mehran View Post



    Apple is a global company and they should be follow each country's rules and adhere to local culture. It is not Apple's role to nudge another country's direction. That is the responsibilities of that countries people. What is right for us is not necessarily right for others.


     


    This. If Apple doesn't then they could be kicked out entirely. Including from having any part of any product produced there. And until Japan harvests that new cache of rare earth metals that would be a serious problem for Apple.


     


    they aren't being asked to poison babies. Yes freedom of speech is important but the books can be found other ways by those that want them

  • Reply 11 of 16
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member


    deleted

  • Reply 12 of 16


    "Instead of doing what is right, Cook succumbs to the Communists -- weak move, IMHO."


     


    You want to do business in China? That's the price you pay. That's a humble fact.

  • Reply 13 of 16
    spamboyspamboy Posts: 34member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    I don't detect any pro-Communist bias in Apple's application of their policies.


    Ummmmm...what about having the NeoCom Al Gore on the board? 

  • Reply 14 of 16
    @Engadget: Apple has a list of detailed rules for App developers. I would like you to ask Apple which App Store rule that this app violated. Will Apple be adding a rule against including any content censored by a government in the region where the app is for sale?
  • Reply 15 of 16
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member


    Apple's entire business relies on China. That means they have to do what the Chinese government tells them to do. The recent apology over warranties was maybe the most apologetic Apple has ever been in a public statement - compare it to the Maps debacle or the "you're holding it wrong" email. Apple fought tooth and nail against italian lawmakers in the courtrooms to try and keep their illegal (in Italy) warranty practicing going there, but with China they pretty much just rolled over.


     


    Same goes for pretty much the entire western world - nobody's stepping on china's toes and no government has made any official statements about china's lack of democracy, non-existant environmental controls and human rights abuses. Seriously - a trade imbalance with Canada results in the US increasing tariffs on Canadian goods, while Chinese currency manipulation, copyright infractions and trade subsidies are met with pretty much zero action.


     


    They have the cheap labour (which apple is heavily reliant on and has invested lots of money in), they have the fastest growing middle class in the world (who apple and the rest of the world want access to ) and they'll overtake the USA for wealth in less than a decade - everybody wants to either buy or sell to them, and to do that absolutely requires doing what their government tells you to do.


     


    Look at what happened when Google tried to fight back against Chinese - they basically got frozen out and are losing tons of money as a result - according to the wiki, in 2010 pre-censorship debacle, they had a 29% share of the Chinese search market, but since they stopped censoring chinese searches and moved operations to Hong Kong, their share has dropped to 5%.


     


    Apple is obviously not interested in losing marketshare in China, so they're toeing the line - if i was a shareholder, I would probably want that too, as it'd maximize my investment.

  • Reply 16 of 16

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    They have the cheap labour (which apple is heavily reliant on and has invested lots of money in), they have the fastest growing middle class in the world (who apple and the rest of the world want access to ) and they'll overtake the USA for wealth in less than a decade - everybody wants to either buy or sell to them, and to do that absolutely requires doing what their government tells you to do.



     




    Until the bubble bursts, it's revealed national banks were granting billions of dollars in bad loans, "proper" loans default like a mofo, property values plummet, and China's continuum of cheap labor isn't so cheap.


     


    Or so it seems to happen with most of the economic powers in East Asia.

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