Apple news (Currently in testing mode) has been taken down in China by the company itself. The reason behind this seems obvious: Strict internet laws and surveillance by the Chinese government.
Though, Apple has a very big market in China (2nd largest to be precise) it still had to take down its new service.
According to the reports from the New York Times, when you try to open Apple news on your device in China, it shows an error message: “Can’t refresh right now. The news isn’t supported in your current region.”
But, if you use the same device in the USA, the news feed loads properly, which clearly means the service has been taken down in China.
“THEY’RE CENSORING NEWS CONTENT THAT I DOWNLOADED AND STORED ON MY DEVICE PURCHASED IN THE USA, BEFORE I EVEN ENTER CHINA JUST BECAUSE MY PHONE HAPPENS TO CONNECT TO A CHINESE SIGNAL FLOATING OVER THE BORDER,”“THEY’RE CENSORING NEWS CONTENT THAT I DOWNLOADED AND STORED ON MY DEVICE PURCHASED IN THE USA, BEFORE I EVEN ENTER CHINA JUST BECAUSE MY PHONE HAPPENS TO CONNECT TO A CHINESE SIGNAL FLOATING OVER THE BORDER,”
This means that all the news content has been censored and is not available to the users using the devices in China.
This is not the first time a tech giant had to take such a step. Google did it also in 2010 when they re-directed all the Chinese IP addresses to Google’s Hong Kong domain.
Although, Google still provides services in China, most of Google’s products are blocked by authorities.
Weibo (Chinese version of twitter) once was a popular community in China, also declined due to China’s strict laws. Web blocks have been quite common in China and they all come under a system known as “Great Firewall of China censorship”
They have even used this for local shutdowns. One such instance was in Xinjiang when they completely blocked the internet service in the region after riots.
The Great Firewall of China known for censoring/blocking websites in the country. In the past, the firewall blocked Reuters website as a result of a DDoS attack on the great firewall. However, the University of California, Berkley and the University of Toronto researchers identified that the Great Firewall hasn’t been used by China at all but instead a very strong new weapon which they have labelled as the Great Cannon.