Apple has disabled its news app in China because it does not want to offend the government by telling Apple fanboys about what is going on in the world.
Greater China is now Apple’s second-largest source of revenue after the United States, with sales of more than $13 billion in the third quarter. There are fears that the Chinese are losing interest in the shiny cargo cult and Apple does not want a scrap with the authorities right now.
Beijing generally insists that companies are responsible for censoring content inside China. In Apple’s case, that would mean it would probably have to develop a censorship system to eliminate sensitive articles from feeds.
Since this means developing working software, Jobs’ Mob has placed this in the too hard basket and completely disabled the service for users in China.
The move is already troubling some users. Larry Salibra, an entrepreneur who founded Pay4Bugs, a software testing service, pointed out the issue last week on Twitter. Salibra said he found what Apple was doing “very disconcerting.”
He said Apple was censoring news content that he downloaded and stored on my device purchased in the USA.
“On device censorship is much different than having your server blocked by the Great Firewall or not enabling a feature for customers with certain country iTunes account. That Apple has little choice doesn’t make it any less creepy or outrageous.”