Podcast app

Apple launches Pocket Casts podcast app in China

Apple has removed the Pocket Casts podcast platform from the Chinese digital app store at the request of Beijing’s top internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which believes the app can be used for access “illegal” content.

As The Verge pointed out, it’s the second major podcast app to be removed from the Chinese App Store this month, following the recent expulsion of iOS-based Castro Podcast Player. “We believe that podcasting is and should remain an open medium, free from government censorship. As such, we will not censor podcast content at their request,” Pocket Casts tweeted this morning. “[We] I think it’s a necessary step for any business that appreciates the open distribution model that makes podcasting special.”

Pocket Casts, which was acquired by a group of American public radio companies in 2018, was apparently notified by the CAC via Apple two days before its application was abandoned. “No specific reason was provided, even after we asked for clarification,” the company wrote in a follow-up tweet. “The general reason was that we ‘include illegal content in China, as determined by the CAC’.”

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Chinese users, who can no longer access the program and its updates, will have to find another listening platform, but their options are limited. Apple recently removed a number of Chinese-language podcasts from its Chinese Podcast Store, one of the few remaining channels to offer vetted content, TechCrunch reported. The People’s Republic of China has a history of broadcast censorship. Last year, the CAC ordered the closure, suspension or investigation of 26 audio-focused apps for spreading “historical nihilism” and “pornography.” according to a review of June 2019.

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