Apple blocks content for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan users

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) opposes the decision by Apple to block the downloading of certain apps by mobile users in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.According to Globe Voices, China Uncensored, a satirical news show was censored by Apple TV through the app store if users trying to access the show were based in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The curator, Chris Chappell issued a statement noting that content regarding the two-party system in Hong Kong and Taiwan was censored. Chappell also wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging Apple to remove the block on China Uncensored to Hong Kong and Taiwan-based users, threatening to take legal and political action.China Uncensored launched on YouTube in 2012. The show mocks China’s Communist Party and its authoritarian rule through curating news about crackdowns on dissidents, persecutions of religious minorities and state-sponsored hacking activities, turning them into satirical reporting.It has been reported that Apple has been tightly following the Provisions on the Administration of Mobile Internet Application Information Service issued by the Chinese government. The regulations allow the service provider to remove so-called rumours and information deemed to be harmful to national security. In January 2017, The New York Times app was removed from the Apple iTunes Store so no Mainland mobile users are able to download this app but which is still available in Hong Kong and Taiwan.The IFJ Asia-Pacific office said: “We a strongly opposed to move by Apple to remove content from its services at the mercy of the Chinese government. Users should be able to freely access any content they wish, yet the Chinese government continues to try and control access to information and the free flow of information in and out of China, as well as for it’s citizens.”We urge Apple CEO, Tim Cook, to review the decision and take the necessary steps to ensure access is granted.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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