Apple has removed podcast client Pocket Casts from its App Store in China following the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China, Pocket Casts claimed in a tweet. Apple didn’t provide any specific reason to PocketCasts for removing their app despite them asking for clarification, and told them that they included content “that is illegal in China as determined by the CAC”. Apple had removed another podcast app called Castro Podcasts from the App Store in China earlier this month, the Verge pointed out. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
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
Pocket Casts said that it was contacted by China’s cyberspace administration through Apple a couple of days before the app was removed from the App Store. “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 said. “We understand this means that it’s unlikely that our iOS App will be available in China,” it said, adding, “but feel it’s a necessary step to take”. This removal also means that existing Pocket Casts users in China will be stuck on the same version of the iOS app, as the company has “no way to get updates out to that region”.
Castro Podcasts, which was removed from the Chinese App Store, was also not provided with any specifics from Apple about why it was removed. The company speculated it could be due to its support of the protests in the Discover tab. It isn’t clear which protests it is referring to here.
Last year, in November, Apple had quietly removed customer reviews from its web stores in the US, UK and Australia