iTunes Movies and iBooks have been unceremoniously given the banhammer by China’s media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The governing body requested Apple stop the service immediately and Reuters’s inquiry was met with the response that Apple’s services were “unusable”. Apple has faced the banhammer in China before, as have other companies, so this isn’t unusual and an Apple spokesperson had this to offer up to Reuters.
“We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” said a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman, who declined to provide further comment.
Other sources claim that China has shuttered iTunes Movies and iBooks because Apple’s services were directly competing with similar offerings from the Chinese government. Apple’s brief iTunes Movies and iBooks stint must have been received well causing a drop in the government offering. Nothing is absolutely clear yet in this situation, as is the case most of the time with China, but hopefully Apple can clear up what’s actually happening and get its services back online. Reuters does give some insight into some of the situation concerning publishing in China.
In March, regulations came into effect that prohibit foreign ownership and joint ventures in online publishing and stipulate that all content be stored on servers in China. The move sparked fear of greater curbs on foreign businesses.
In an effort to shape public opinion, President Xi Jinping’s government has implemented an unprecedented tightening of internet and media controls and sought to codify the policy within the law, a campaign that critics say ignores human rights and is a burden for business.
For now, users in China will have to go back to the state run movies and books and hope that Apple can bring back iTunes Movies and iBooks. What do you think of China giving more Apple services the banhammer? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.Source: Reuters