Apple removed news apps created by The New York Times from the App Store in China late last month. The Times itself says that it spoke with the iPhone-maker, and it was told that the removal was in response to a request from Chinese authorities.
The Chinese government began blocking NYT websites in 2012, following a series of articles on the wealth amassed by the family of then-prime minister Wen Jiabao. This latest move limits access to one of its few remaining channels in the country.
“We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said of the Times apps. “As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China.”
China is of course an important market for Apple—its second largest behind the United States—and it has had problems of its own in the country regarding censorship. Last year its iTunes Movies and iBooks stores were shut down by the state agency.
Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store on December 23. Apps from other international publications, including The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, were still available for download.