This weekend, China’s strict content and Internet laws may have claimed another service before it was even officially supported. The New York Times reports that Apple has disabled its new Apple News app in the region.
Although China is Apple’s second-largest market in terms of revenue, Apple News is currently only available in the US (it’s also being tested in the UK and Australia). However, the Times notes phones registered in the US can still largely utilize Apple News when traveling. But when in China, users are now being met with a blank Apple News feed and an error message: “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region.”
The NYT points to a Reddit thread from Larry Salibra, founder of Pay4Bug, bemoaning such errors even when pre-downloading Apple News content on a device. “They’re censoring news content that I downloaded and stored on my device purchased in the USA, before I even enter China just because my phone happens to connect to a Chinese signal floating over the border,” Salibra wrote. “On device censorship is much different than having your server blocked by the Great Firewall or not enabling a feature for customers with certain country iTunes account.”