Apple Takes Down Podcast Apps in China Due to Govt Censorship

Apple has taken down Pocket Casts and Castro from the China app store under pressure from the Chinese government.

Published11 Jun 2020, 01:48 PM IST
Tech News
2 min read

Apple appears to have succumbed to pressure from the Chinese government to remove a couple of podcast apps from its app store in China. This move comes after the Cyberspace Administration of China pointed out that these apps could be used to access illegal content, according to an article published in The Verge.

The apps in question are Pocket Casts and Castro, both popular podcast apps used around the world. China was the seventh biggest market for Pocket Casts globally. Apple took down the app two days after contacting the developer but didn't give any specifics about what content violated China's policies. Instead, it asked Pocket Casts to directly contact the Cyberspace Administration in China.

Castro was also pulled down from Apple's China app store without any specific reason being cited.

For Castro, China accounted for about 10 percent of its user base.

It isn't the first time that Apple is taking down apps from its China app store, under pressure from the Chinese government. In 2019, it took down the Quartz app, which is a news service, after a request from the Chinese government. Allegedly, this was because the app was covering the protests in Hong Kong, that started in mid-2019 against a bill that would allow extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China and other jurisdictions. The Quartz website also cannot be accessed in China.

Apple is seen as a company that stands up for human rights and free speech globally, but it hasn't clarified how it deals with the government in China, which is an important market for its products and it also has manufacturing facilities there.

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