It is well known how the Chinese government controls the internet in its country and bans whatever content it thinks opposes its communist views. The latest victims to suffer from the oppression are two podcast apps, Pocket Casts and Castro. The apps were pulled from Apple’s App Store in China because the government says they can be used to access illegal content.
Apple was forced to remove the apps at the request of China’s Cyberspace Administration, for which freedom of speech isn’t a used term. The first to raise flags for the communist regime was Castro, a popular iPhone podcast app, which has 10% of its user base in China.
Castro responded to a user asking about the ban on Twitter: “We think it might have been our support of the protests in the Discover tab. We were not given specifics.”
A few days later Pocket Casts had the same fate. Before removing the app from its Store, Apple warned the company about what was going to happen. This resulted in a statement posted to Twitter by Pocket Casts saying “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. We understand this means that it’s unlikely that our iOS App will be available in China, but feel it’s a necessary step to take for any company that values the open distribution model that makes podcasting special.”
Apple hasn’t released an official statement on the issue, and neither apps were given an explanation on which content was against the Chinese regulations.. Apple suggested they contact the Cyberspace Administration of China directly.