China

Apple Blocking New York Times App in China—Haters Rejoice

Still available on Android, which unlike Apple does not appear to be enjoying Chinese subsidies.

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Apple has removed the Chinese-language version of the New York Times mobile app from its App Store in China, saying it was complying with an order from the Chinese government, which in June imposed new rules cracking down on mobile apps that posed perceived threats to national security or social order, as The Washington Post reports.

The mobile app was developed last year with the help of GreatFire, a non-profit dedicated to combatting online censorship (the Great Firewall) in China. The group, based at greatfire.org, does not disclose its identity due to security concerns, but has an active Twitter presence. "We're defeating China's well-developed censorship apparatus, only to be thwarted by actions of a publicly listed American company," the group tweeted yesterday.

Apple insisted in a statement it had to remove the app. "For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations," the company said. "As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store."

GreatFire noted the Times app remained available on Android. Android users are also generally permitted to download apps from third-party sources (outside of the Google Play store) while Apple makes downloading apps outside of its store far more difficult. GreatFire also suggested that Apple's compliance was because of a Times exposé that was in the pipeline on Chinese subsidies to Foxconn, the company that runs the factory in China where Apple's iPhones are built. "Foxxconn story broke camel's back," the group tweeted. "Circle now complete. No question Apple's interests now 100% aligned with demands of Chinese authorities."

Ann Coulter tweeted that she was "really warming" to China after they put the banhammer down on the Times, a poor attempt at humor, especially given a pro-Trump social media ecosystem that doesn't just view much of the mainstream media as an adversary but as a cohort engaged in malpractice that may not deserve free press protections. Coulter is among the most prominent operators in that ecosystem but the shit rolls downhill, as you can see in the positive responses to her tweet. It goes all the way up, naturally. Trump has never appeared particularly enthusiastic about a free press, not before he ran, not while he was running, and not now and has, much like Hillary Clinton and other politicians, been pretty hostile to the idea, especially when it comes to criticisms of him.

Trump has not tweeted about China getting Apple to ban the Times app, nor about the Times reporting on China's subsidies, which seems up his alley for the foreign subsidies part and the things being made in China that are sold in the U.S. part—Trump's told Apple CEO Tim Cook he wants him to build iPhones in America.

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  1. FFS. You know Foxconn makes components for virtually every manufacturer, right?

    1. That explains why I can’t find a decent phone.

      1. UCS at the verizon store:

        Clerk: How about this one?
        UCS: I don’t like it.
        Clerk: How about this one?
        UCS: I don’t like it.
        Clerk: How about this one?
        UCS: I don’t like it.
        Clerk: How about this one?
        UCS: Frank Columbo never needed a cell phone.

        1. Columbo never needed a cell phone.

          A: I’d never say that. I don’t judge my needs by those of a fictional character

          B: And actually, cell reception was used as a plot point the second time William Shatner guest starred to disprove his alibi.

          1. Oh snap, Crusty. You just got UCSed.

            1. A: I’d never say that. I don’t judge my needs by those of a fictional character

              Of course not. However, Columbo facts are randomly dispersed throughout your daily conversations.

              Case in point: B: And actually, cell reception was used as a plot point the second time William Shatner guest starred to disprove his alibi.

          2. Holy crap. Did anyone feel a boom? That had to have caused a temporary space-time singularity.

        2. Clerk: This one is powered by Slaaneshi daemons and the souls of former porn stars. You have to masturbate to call long distance.
          UCS: I’ll take it!

    2. Your ultimate point is unaffected, but Foxconn is primarily in the business of assembling finished devices rather than making components. Although the recent Sharp acquisition means they are (or will be, I don’t know if it has closed yet) be making components, too.

      1. Fair enough; I wasn’t certain what exactly they did but I know they’re involved with all kinds of smartphones, not just Apple’s. The notion that China somehow favors Apple because Foxconn is ridiculous.

  2. “This is the kind of innovation in Government we should consider in America”
    /Tom Friedman

  3. Ann Coulter tweeted

    Trump has not tweeted

    Crusty tooted.

    1. These euphemisms!

  4. OT – Congress counts the electoral votes – Trump wins, a few flaky Dems act flaky, and Biden shuts them down.

    These guys are so nuts they made Biden look like a rational adult.

  5. I thought that Reason liked Chinese style free trade and markets?

    1. You mean the chinese government subsidizing goods so that’s they cost less to american consumers and disincentivise american competition?

      1. More like the Chinese government putting their foot on the neck of Chinese workers so they accept less money which lowers the cost of goods. This way the buddies of the Chinese government make big profits and its only the workers get screwed, If you are a worker and cause trouble you end up in jail or dead

        Nobody keeps the workers down better then a Communist government.

      2. They don’t *dis*incentivise anyone; they *re*incentivise smart hungry entrepreneurs.

  6. Apple insisted in a statement it had to remove the app.

    One of these days, logically, someone will claim they had no choice and it’ll be true. This isn’t it.

    1. I suppose they could always exit China. And I’m sure hordes of other industries would follow.

      1. That there will be consequences does not mean there are no choices. There are consequences to everything, including protestations of helplessness and the inevitability of the universe.

        If the reasons are business, release a mathematical business projection chart or the verbal equivalent and have done with it.

  7. “Ann Coulter tweeted that she was “really warming” to China after they put the banhammer down on the Times, a poor attempt at humor, especially given a pro-Trump social media ecosystem that doesn’t just view much of the mainstream media as an adversary but as a cohort engaged in malpractice that may not deserve free press protections.”

    One of the reasons we ended up with such a nasty labor movement in this country was because, way back when, both companies and the government were treating a lot of workers like shit unnecessarily.

    Just because the anti-New York Times social media ecosystem wants to violate the New York Times’ freedom of the press doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong about the New York Times being full of shit and hurting the country.

    If mainstream media outlets like the New York Times don’t want to take so much heat for being a bunch of partisan hacks, there are things they could do to alleviate some of that. For instance, they could stop acting like a bunch of partisan hacks.

    I’ll stand up for the First Amendment rights of the partisan hacks at the New York Times, just like I would for the Fifth Amendment rights of arsonists or the Eighth Amendment rights of terrorists, but I hope someone at the Times realizes that people like me see them as being like arsonists and terrorists that way.

    What they do is awful.

    1. I don’t care that the NYT is full of partisan hacks. What I do care about is that everyone pretends they aren’t.

    2. a pro-Trump social media ecosystem that doesn’t just view much of the mainstream media as an adversary but as a cohort engaged in malpractice that may not deserve free press protections.

      Whatever the fuck “a pro-Trump social media ecosystem” is, I would be very surprised if it had a singular view of the MSM’s free speech rights.

      1. I think that’s supposed to be the alt-Right or Breitbart trolls or something.

  8. Company fulfills the shithead fascist restrictions put upon them by a govt in order to be allowed to keep operating there, just like every company has to do everywhere.

    And Ann Coulter trolls people about it.

  9. Trump was in favor of an Apple boycott when they wouldn’t build a hack for the FBI for the San Berdoo shooter’s phone.

    Should it surprise you that Trump would be in favor of the state forcing corporations to bend to their will in this case as well?

    Yes, yes it should, because that would be consistent and principled and predictable and those are all traits Trump is quite proud of being antagonistic toward.

    On the other hand, it shouldn’t surprise you that Trump would be inconsistent in his inconsistency, unpredictable in his unpredictability and unprincipled in his lack of principles, either.

    Past performance is not only no guarantee of future performance, it doesn’t even provide a hint. Nobody has a clue what the guy’s gonna do.

  10. You know “Android” isn’t a company, right?

    Which Android app stores offer that app in China…?

    None is my guess – and you can sideload iOSapps if you really, really want to.

    The difference here is that Apple sells stuff (apps) in China and has to … obey the Chinese government or get shut down there.

    “Android” is an operating system, not a company.

  11. This is something really interesting. But how those people gonna get apps from vshare if they are not allowed to use the apps on apple?. You can get it from http://vsharedownloads.org/ site.

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