Pockets Casts, ranked 85th most popular in the podcast news app section on Apple’s U.S website, said on Wednesday its app had been taken down from Apple’s App Store in China. The move was taken by Apple after intervention by Beijing’s top internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China, Pockets Casts said via Twitter.
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
Earlier this year, Apple in China pulled the pandemic simulation game Plague Inc. In 2019, Apple removed the Quartz news app from App Store in China over Hong Kong coverage, pulled a Hong Kong police activity tracking app from App Store following Chinese warnings, and removed VPN apps from App Store in China in 2017.
Apple U.S. officials weren’t immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. market hours. Reuters was not immediately able to contact the CAC by fax using the official number provided for the watchdog by the government.
The removal comes amid growing debate over China and freedom of speech after a resurgence of activity by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, angered by Beijing’s plans to impose new security laws.
MacDailyNews Take: In addition, Castro Podcasts has also been removed from Apple’s App Store in China.
We think it might have been our support of the protests in the Discover tab. We were not given specifics.
— Castro Podcasts (@CastroPodcasts) June 7, 2020
Another two bite the dust.
Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. – Potter Stewart