“We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship,” Pocket Casts said on its official Twitter account. “As such we won’t be censoring podcast content at their request. We understand this means that it’s unlikely that our iOS App will be available in China, but feel it’s a necessary step to take for any company that values the open distribution model that makes podcasting special.”
Pocket Casts’ developers told The Verge that they asked Apple for details on which content violated Chinese law, but were told to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China for the specifics. The app was reportedly removed about two days after Apple contacted the developer.
China’s Cyberspace Administration has been known to block access to sites and internet services it doesn’t approve of. Blocked content typically includes criticism of the government or other politically sensitive issues. Last year Apple removed the app of news outlet Quartz from China’s App Store after complaints from the government that it included content that is illegal in the country. The app was covering the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement protests at the time.
Pocket Casts has been removed from the Chinese App store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China. We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship. As such we won’t be censoring podcast content at their request. — Pocket Casts (@pocketcasts) June 11, 2020
Apple has also been forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to the administration’s regulations. Other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and the New York Times app.
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