In its latest censorship move for China, Apple has taken down podcasts app, Pocket Casts from the Chinese App Store. Pocket Casts, in a series of tweets, claimed that Apple acted at the behest of a request from the Cyberspace Administration of China, the local regulatory watchdog that oversees the information available on the internet in the country.
Before Apple stepped in, Pocket Casts adds that it denied orders from the Chinese authorities to censor certain podcast content it was hosting. The company didn’t share any specifics as to which podcasts it was asked to remove from the platform. We’ve reached out to Pocket Casts for more information and we’ll update the story when we hear back.
“We believe podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free of government censorship,” the developers wrote in a tweet. Pocket Casts says it won’t be backtracking on its decision to return to the Chinese App Store since “it’s a necessary step to take for any company that values the open distribution model that makes podcasting special.”
At the time of writing, Apple hadn’t released a public statement or responded to a request for comment sent by Digital Trends.
On several occasions in the past, Apple has stepped over the lines of freedom of speech and conformed to China’s censorship requests. Late last year in October, the company took down the news app, Quartz as it was actively covering the Hong Kong protests. Both the Quartz app and website to date are still not available in China.
A month later, Apple also removed HKmap.live, a crowdsourced mapping app that was being employed by Hong Kong protestors to flag the live locations of police and street closures. In a statement, Apple CEO, Tim Cook defended the takedown by arguing the app was being “used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong.” “The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” he added.