Over the holidays, Apple removed the New York Times mobile apps, both the English-language version and the Chinese-language version, from the App Store in China.
The New York Times app is no longer accessible on Apple's China appstore, following a request from Chinese authorities that the app be removed. New York Times Co.'s sites have been blocked in the country's mainland since 2012, following the publication of a report detailing the wealth of China's top leadership and their families.
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The New York Times said they had asked Apple to reconsider the decision.
Apple said the App Store's top-grossing markets for the year include the U.S., China, Japan and the UK.
In recent months Beijing censors had "struggled" to prevent readers from using the Chinese-language app, the Times reported. The New York Times notes that most American companies operate in Russian Federation while violating the law, making the blocking of LinkedIn a rare occurrence.
China has seen a sprawling crackdown on dissent under President Xi Jinping, restricting citizens' speech online and jailing hundreds of lawyers who had taken on civil rights cases considered sensitive by the ruling party.
Digital stores represent big battlegrounds between Apple and rival Google.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is a frequent visitor to the People's Republic and the company has made several large-scale investments in the country. LinkedIn, which has several million users in Russian Federation, said it was "disappointed" by the news. GreatFire also suggested that Apple's compliance was because of a Times exposé that was in the pipeline on Chinese subsidies to Foxconn, the company that runs the factory in China where Apple's iPhones are built. The Times originally reported that its apps were removed on December 23, and Apple confirmed it on Thursday, citing a request from Chinese authorities. "This is a principle".
In total, Apple said developers have earned more than $60 billion from the App Store since 2008.
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