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Factbox: Apps removed from Apple's China app store
January 5, 2017 / 9:09 AM / a year ago

Factbox: Apps removed from Apple's China app store

(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) removed the New York Times Co’s (NYT.N) news apps from its app store in China on Dec. 23, following a request from the Chinese authorities. An Apple spokesman said the company had been informed that the app was “in violation of local regulations”.

An illustration shows a person looking at a computer screen in Beijing showing an Apple iTunes store message saying that the New York Times app is not available in the Chinese store, in China January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Illustration TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2XL4S

While data from ASO100, a firm which analyses app store data, indicates that hundreds of apps are removed from China’s app store a day, the removal of the New York Times’ app is among the most high-profile deletions.

The following apps have been removed from Apple’s Chinese store in the past. Reuters has not individually verified these stories, but the apps are no longer available in the store.

October 2015 - Apple disabled its news reading app, Apple News, in mainland China, the New York Times reported in October 2015, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation. (

November 2013 - FreeWeibo, an app that allows users to read sensitive postings on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo service, was deleted by Apple on grounds of "illegal content", its developer Radio Netherlands Worldwide said on its website.(

October 2013 - OpenDoor, a free app that allowed users to jump over firewalls and access restricted sites, was removed from the Chinese app store by Apple for including "content that is illegal in China", the app's developer said in a blogpost on anti-censorship watchdog (

April 2013 - Jingdian Shucheng, an app that allowed users to access books banned by the Chinese government, was removed, the Financial Times reported citing the app's developer Hao Peiqiang. Hao said the reason was that it included "content that is illegal in China". (

Reporting by Brenda Goh and SHANGHAI Newsroom; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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