“China has shut down Apple Inc.’s online book and movie services in the country, suggesting an intensifying campaign to bring Web content in line with Beijing’s stringent guidelines for traditional media,” Eva Dou reports for Dow Jones Business News. “The shutdown has sent shockwaves through the U.S. high-tech sector, which has long seen Apple as a China success story. The brand’s popularity in China has helped it maintain strong growth there in the past two years, even as Beijing’s buy-local push has crimped sales for many U.S. electronics makers. ‘We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,’ the company said in a statement.”

“In last week’s meetings with Apple, officials pointed to broad new rules issued in February that ban companies with any foreign ownership from engaging in online publishing, one of the people familiar with the talks said,” Dou reports. “They also cited a 2008 provision that requires companies to get a license to broadcast videos on the Internet and limits license eligibility to Chinese companies, the person said. People in China’s entertainment industry have long wondered why this provision hadn’t prevented Apple from operating its movie service in China.”

“‘It’s a big and successful pattern for regulators to claim big targets at the outset and scare everybody else,’ said one Beijing-based lawyer. ‘Apple won’t be the only one,'” Dou reports. “The suspension appeared to have taken Apple by surprise. The company still lists a Beijing-based ‘Studio Relations’ job on its website. ‘The key responsibility is to grow iTunes’ movie business in Greater China,’ reads the posting, dated Dec. 22.”

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MacDailyNews Take: What is so dangerous that the people of China cannot be allowed to read, see, and/or hear? Who doesn’t trust and/or fears an informed Chinese public and why?

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.

   — Ellen Hopkins

Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook joins Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ board of directors – April 6, 2016