Apple has removed the popular podcasting app Pocket Casts from the Chinese App Store on the request of the Chinese government. Apple reached out to Pocket Casts a couple of days ago to inform them their app would be removed from the Chinese App Store based on the request made by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
The exact reason behind the Chinese government’s request to remove Pocket Casts is not clear, but the app developers note that this is censorship on part of the government. Pocket Casts also revealed that it did not adhere to requests of the Chinese administration to censor podcast content available on their platform which should remain an open medium. Pocket Casts is now not expected to return to the Chinese App Store.
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
Apple has previously removed hundreds of apps from the Chinese App Store on the request of the government. In early 2017, the company removed all VPN apps from the Chinese App Store along with the New York Times app on request of the government. In fact, Apple removed over 58,000 apps in just two weeks from the App Store on the request of the Chinese government. Apple also removed Skype from the App Store in the same year to comply with local laws. The next year, Apple removed all illegal gambling apps from the App Store in China.
Apple might take a strong stance against racism, human rights, and LGBT rights, but the company is yet to stand up against the Chinese government and its censorship acts. Instead, it simply adheres to their requests and removes all content and apps as requested by the Chinese administration.