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Activists Angry After Apple Axes Anti-Firewall App

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the welcome-to-the-world-walled-web dept.

China 196

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that Chinese web users are criticizing Apple after the company pulled a free iPhone app called OpenDoor, which enables users to bypass firewalls and access restricted internet sites. The developers of OpenDoor — who wish to remain anonymous — told Radio Netherlands that Apple removed the app because it 'includes content that is illegal in China.' 'It is unclear to us how a simple browser app could include illegal contents, since it's the user's own choosing of what websites to view,' say the developers. 'Using the same definition, wouldn't all browser apps, including Apple's own Safari and Google's Chrome, include illegal contents?' Chinese internet users were disappointed by the move by Apple. Zhou Shuguang, a prominent Chinese blogger and citizen journalist, told U.S.-based Radio Free Asia that Apple had taken away one of the tools which internet users in China relied on to circumvent the country's great firewall. 'Apple is determined to have a share of the huge cake which is the Chinese internet market. Without strict self-censorship, it cannot enter the Chinese market,' says one Chinese user disappointed by the move by Apple."

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I wonder.... (5, Interesting)

Andreas . (2995185) | about a year ago | (#45035887)

How much financial pressure did the chinese regime give Apple? (Fines / Bribe / Loss of Market)

Re: I wonder.... (5, Insightful)

andy_spoo (2653245) | about a year ago | (#45036031)

Apple are pretty much control freaks at the best of times. But you expect to be controlled one way or another if you buy in to a closed OS. And the US is just as controlling as China when they demand back doors to be included in security products to bypass encryption to spy on your data. If you think your in anyway living in a free country, no matter where you live, , then you must be high on something.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036039)

Am sure it could have been quite a bit. They could have said they'd make it impossible to manufacture more iDevices in the country. Dragging the factories to a stop in red tape. It would be quite a hit to apples reputation to not have any new devices to sell for a couple of months.

Re:I wonder.... (4, Interesting)

Blue Stone (582566) | about a year ago | (#45036147)

Did they have to suffer any imposed financial pressure? I'm fairly sure Apple (and most large corprations) are happy to collude with oppressive regimes (wherever they exist in the world) when there's a profit to be made.

Re:I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036213)

When your choices are pull this app or you can't sell your phone in the one of the worlds biggest country's it's a pretty easy choice to make.

You don't think apple let's the feds see your imessages?

Re:I wonder.... (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45036333)

When your choices are pull this app or you can't sell your phone in the one of the worlds biggest country's it's a pretty easy choice to make.

... when profits are the only thing you care about.

Re: I wonder.... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036413)

Ie, when you are a company.

Re: I wonder.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036503)

This may come as a surprise, but some companies make choices that don't come down to simply "profits." Some companies make decisions because they fit inline with the stated company culture and values and though it may not turn a profit it is the 'right thing to do'.

I know, mind blowing.

Re: I wonder.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036559)

Prove it.

Re: I wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036917)

Yes, we call those "Companies that have failed/will inevitably soon fail".
Or non-profits.

Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035893)

Author's alliterative application attempt an annoying actuality.

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036053)

Always ACs announcing aversion against alliteration and A-words

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036101)

Bloody bastard bollocks bouncing by Birmingham bound by beelzebub

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036397)

Crappy CongressCritters Congratulate Cunning Corporate Collusion.

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#45036079)

An astute appreciation added anonymously. Applause!

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45036275)

Actually aren't all alliterative articles an amazing achievement? After all, adding additional "As" always advances adversity.

Re:Ai acan't athink aof amore a-words (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45036337)

Appreciate, as always, Apple's asshole attitude.

Apple likes censorship (4, Insightful)

techprophet (1281752) | about a year ago | (#45035901)

But we already knew that

Re:Apple likes censorship (5, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about a year ago | (#45035969)

Your subject line appears to contain an error. You misspelled, "All US tech companies (except Lavabit) are whores who think nothing of selling out themselves and the users who trust them to every repressive regime on the planet."

Re:Apple likes censorship (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036065)

....But especially Apple.

Re: Apple likes censorship (1)

techprophet (1281752) | about a year ago | (#45036089)

for c in us_tech_companies: if c == lavabit: continue printf("%s likes censorship", c) Is more clear imo

Re: Apple likes censorship (1)

techprophet (1281752) | about a year ago | (#45036145)

Phone completely butchered my formatting and removed all html tags. gg /.

Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have morals (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#45036201)

Apple can't make value judgements on Chinese internet laws because that would lead to fewer sales. Corporations do not have morals. The only motivation of a corporation is to maximize shareholder value, and a CEO is required to act in this interest by law. A corporation can thus not make moral judgements that act against maximizing shareholder value, any CEO who allowed that is opening themselves up to a huge class action lawsuit.

Even companies that do things that might seem non-self-serving (say, Starbucks and their fair trade coffee and/or climate change pro-activeness), have to actually in fact be doing so out of self interest (example again, Starbucks CEO Howard Shutlz has gone on the record many times saying that Starbucks actions on the environment are not out of charity; in fact it is because the long-term view of the company is that climate change will damage coffee crops worldwide and this hurt their bottom line significantly).

This is the plain honest truth. If you don't like it, *then get the system changed*. Don't blame Apple or Tim Cook, they actually are not allowed to operate any other way.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45036369)

Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have morals

That's not really true... it all depends on their charter. The Red Cross is a corporation created by congress under Title 36, for example. However, as a practical matter most publicly held C corporations do prioritize stockholder value. The fact is the people who control a corporation can do whatever they want with it, so long as they do not defraud anyone.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#45036401)

Sure, a C corporation can in the end do whatever they want. But again, not without opening themselves up to shareholder class action lawsuits.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about a year ago | (#45036393)

Corporations are an excuse for individual people to behave badly; it's a way for them to do thing they would be ashamed of (except for the sociopaths who are incapable of shame) and defend it via the, "I was just following orders" defense.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036435)

Actually, you are wrong. Completely wrong. Understandable, it's a common misconception.

The rebuttal is an extremely famous one: Henry Ford. He paid his employees too well, the shareholders of Ford Motor Corp. were upset and sued him since it was eating into dividends, it went through the courts, and HE (Ford, the man) WON in spectacular fashion.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#45036497)

The reason Henry Ford paid his people better was so that they would have the money to buy his cars, thus increasing sales, thus higher value. That was his argument and it's why the lawsuit was defeated in the first place.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45036685)

Any reason will do, as long as its plausibility is proportional to how far it lies outside the charter.

The reason $COMPANY funded $CHARITY was for improving public relations, increasing sales.

The reason $COMPANY didn't pay a dividend was to increase investment in $SECTOR, increasing $QUALITY and therefore profits.

The reason $COMPANY hired extra employees during the recession was to take advantage of lower acceptable wages during training, reducing overall expenses.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45036569)

The only motivation of a corporation is to maximize shareholder value, and a CEO is required to act in this interest by law.

No, it isn't, and no, they're not, and you're getting the terms mixed up, anyway.

Starting with terminology, "shareholder value" is a different concept from "shareholder profit". While profit is monetary, value includes progress toward long-term goals, market share, and industry stability (as in Starbucks' case), as well as profit... sometimes. Companies can be incorporated in many different ways, and though the most common is certainly for-profit, there are certainly a good many companies that are non-profit. In the case of nonprofits, their "shareholder value" is more often measured by progress toward their mission.

Over the past few decades, "maximizing shareholder value" has become a general guideline for how to run a business, but it is not law. Rather, the generally-applicable laws only require that companies be managed according to their charter. There is also no stipulation (except a judgement after a lawsuit by angry shareholders) as to how closely the charter must be followed. If a for-profit company's CEO decides, for instance, to protest China's firewall by not selling there, and the shareholders agree, then that's perfectly fine. If a for-profit CEO decides to support charities, and some shareholders do sue over it, a judge may very well still side with the CEO, since charities make for very good advertising.

Generally speaking, for-profit corporations operate for profits, but not always, and not all companies are for-profit. The idea that all corporations must maximize profits is simply incorrect.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

pmontra (738736) | about a year ago | (#45036571)

Well... a CEO might resign and go somewhere else instead of doing something s/he doesn't like. They didn't so they preferred the alternative.

Recently Lavabit [lavabit.com] shutdown instead of doing something they didn't like. I don't know anything about US corporate law but maybe even public companies, even Apple, can decide to shutdown at any time for any reason. It could be as easy as buying back the company and closing it. Stockholders get their money back and don't have anything to complain about. Is there any expert out there?

That said, would I expect any CEO of world class corporations to pay attention to morals? I don't. They won't be there, stabbed in the back by some competing manager long time ago.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036625)

There is no law that says a corporation or its CEO must maximise shareholder value / profits. Stop repeating this falsehood, or post the releveant law.

"this supposed imperative to “maximize” a company’s share price has no foundation in history or in law. Nor is there any empirical evidence that it makes the economy or the society better off. What began in the 1970s and ’80s as a useful corrective to self-satisfied managerial mediocrity has become a corrupting, self-interested dogma peddled by finance professors, money managers and over-compensated corporate executives."

"There are no statutes that put the shareholder at the top of the corporate priority list. In most states, corporations can be formed for any lawful purpose. Cornell University law professor Lynn Stout has been looking for years for a corporate charter that even mentions maximizing profits or share price. She hasn’t found one.

Nor does the law require, as many believe, that executives and directors owe a special fiduciary duty to shareholders. The fiduciary duty, in fact, is owed simply to the corporation, which is owned by no one, just as you and I are owned by no one — we are all “persons” in the eyes of the law. Shareholders, however, have a contractual claim to the “residual value” of the corporation once all its other obligations have been satisfied — and even then directors are given wide latitude to make whatever use of that residual value they choose, as long they’re not stealing it for themselves." [1]

TL;DR: You're wrong, and so is everyone else who spouts the same non-sense.

[1]: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8146/are-u-s-companies-legally-obligated-to-maximize-profits-for-shareholders (2nd answer)

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#45036719)

That was a brutally honest post. If you don't like the law, deal with the lawmakers, not with people obeying the laws.

Re:Corporations are not allowed BY LAW to have mor (1)

The-Ixian (168184) | about a year ago | (#45036839)

And this is precisely one of the reasons why I cringe when anyone says the government should be run more like a corporation...

Re:Apple likes censorship (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45036313)

Corporations are the wrong branch of government if you are looking for improved civil rights. Corporations are pretty much just for economic activity (and of course an unfortunate feedback loop via lobbying). We could of course change that if we liked, but still you'd have to do that through other branches of the government.

So users still stuck in *two* walled gardens? (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45035903)

So, Apple removed an app that allows users to bypass the Chinese walled garden from their devices, that are restricted to Apple's walled garden?

Re:So users still stuck in *two* walled gardens? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036163)

This is simple. Apple operates in China. China has a law which makes it illegal for Chinese citizens to bypass the government firewall. China also has a law which makes it illegal to provide tools to aid Chinese citizens to bypass the government firewall. Apple is required to follow law in country which it operates. Apple removes tool from its store to comply with Chinese law.

Sucks for the Chinese citizens, but Apple has its employees to protect from government prosecution.

Re:So users still stuck in *two* walled gardens? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#45036773)

Replace China with US or EU and everyone would be in agreement with Apple. They can't sell illegal things in those countries/blocs.

But CHINA/APPLE BAD!

Re:So users still stuck in *two* walled gardens? (2)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about a year ago | (#45036901)

Good point.

Apple is setting a terrible precedent. I think I know their motivation (e.g. money, Chinese market, etc).

Let's say Saudi Arabia makes looking at dirty pictures illegal (not just immoral). Are they scrapping browsers?

No, the government needs to ensure that while using their network infrastructure the "dangerous" services and applications are blocked. Don't impose your morality and legality on citizens of other countries.

Apple is weak. They considered the cost/benefit analysis, and figured that the few hundred people who get irate about this won't matter. Chinese citizen will not stop buying an iPhone even with this app gone; they buy it for the "cool" factor not because it allows civil disobedience. Most Chinese are terrified of getting in the sights of their government. Those who have an iPhone will gladly use in the government-approved manner.

Google removed all apps from Google Play China (1, Interesting)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#45035931)

So there.

Re:Google removed all apps from Google Play China (5, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#45035979)

.... however, you can install apps from outside the Play Store on Android.

Re:Google removed all apps from Google Play China (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#45036597)

It doesn't matter what Google does with the Play Store. On Android, you can allow apps from anywhere else. You don't even need a rooted device.

One time an app I used got pulled from the play store, so what did I do? I went to the developer's website and downloaded it from there.

So just sideload it (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45035933)

They could just put it in another market or sideload it, oh wait.

Re:So just sideload it (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#45036403)

iOS should be off most geeks' list until there is a jailbreak.

Re:So just sideload it (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45036941)

They could just put it in another market or sideload it, oh wait.

You can do that actually - there are two ways to get an app onto an iPhone without going through Apple.

1) A developer certificate - lets you sign apps and install it on 100 devices.

2) An enterprise certificate - lets you sign apps and push it to unlimited numbers of devices that have been previously registered.

Both involve using a mobile provisioning file - the former is created by Apple, the latter by the enterprise as an Apple-derived certificate.

The latter is often used by many sites that help distribute iOS betas - the site holds an enterprise certificate they use to create mobileprovisioning certificates you load on your iOS device. the developer uploads their beta app, and the site distributes it (automatically or not) to the attached devices.

Clickbait (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035935)

First, the app doesn't vanish from people's phones. If you have it, you still have it.

Second, it's illegal because China has laws that make circumventing their country's firewall illegal. Thus, illegal.

Third, blame China. Apple is respecting the laws of a nation. You don't like those laws - fine - but it's not Apple's fault for respecting those laws. Further, you knew they would respect those laws because their developer guidelines are crystal clear and readily available to anyone who wants to develop for the platform. You knew what was going on when you went into the project.

I know blaming Apple helps generate page views and gets your story in front of people where just blaming China won't but, sorry - clickbait is clickbait. Apple enforced rules that they've had in place for a long while and you knew they would. Deal with it.

Re:Clickbait (4, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#45036033)

Of course if Apple didn't prevent users from loading whatever they like this would be a complete non-issue. This is only possible because Apple control what their users are allowed to do with their device, unless you're willing to invalidate your warranty or pay them an annual fee for the privilege.

Re:Clickbait (1)

jmhobrien (2750125) | about a year ago | (#45036121)

So what is the situation on Android then? Is there an equivalent app?

Re:Clickbait (2, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#45036841)

Of course if Apple didn't prevent users from loading whatever they like this would be a complete non-issue. This is only possible because Apple control what their users are allowed to do with their device, unless you're willing to invalidate your warranty or pay them an annual fee for the privilege.

Who says it would be a non-issue?

Chinese government: People are using this app on the iPhone, which is illegal.
Apple: Sorry, nothing we can do about it.
Chinese government: No sales of iPhones until that is fixed.

Re:Clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036113)

"I know blaming Apple helps generate page views..." - more so than a human rights issue?
"Third, blame China. Apple is respecting the laws of a nation." - But they were happy to fix ebook pricing in the US?
"Deal with it." ...

Re:Clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036191)

Apple has a history of ignoring laws of various nations, so why not these?

Re:Clickbait (1)

AaronMK (1375465) | about a year ago | (#45036663)

It is not so much that they ignore laws. It is more like they sidestep the laws they don't like by conducting certain business in countries with laws they do like.

Re:Clickbait (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45036257)

Third, blame China. Apple is respecting the laws of a nation. You don't like those laws - fine - but it's not Apple's fault for respecting those laws.

One word: Dehomag.

Re:Clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036267)

China has laws that make circumventing their country's firewall illegal

So blame the users, not the tool. Otherwise, as the original parent mentions (but we know you didn't read) many general tools could be circumventing devices. Why pull one tool and not the others?

Re:Clickbait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036389)

Fuck Apple! Apple died when Steve died.

nuf said.

Re:Clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036443)

Third, blame China. Apple is respecting the laws of a nation. You don't like those laws - fine - but it's not Apple's fault for respecting those laws.

Pity shame you're an AC. I'd love to have seen your posting history regarding Google being forced to do similar things to conform to a country's laws, and just what you thought of it.

Re:Clickbait (3, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | about a year ago | (#45036511)

You knew what was going on when you went into the project.

While true, Apple still carries a large amount of responsibility for locking people into its marketplace prison. If sideloading were an option, people could still get by without Apple's (or the Chinese Government's) consent.

That being said, I find it really, really hard to sympathize with Apple customers when they get burned over and over again without learning their lesson. It's like Homer (or was it Bart?) Simpson touching the hot stove: "doh!"..."doh!"..."doh!"....

Re:Clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036819)

but it's not Apple's fault

Yes it is.

Apple intentionally crippled their devices so they could collect 30% on every app users purchase (for the phones they supposedly own). Apple is 100% at fault for enabling this situation.

Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035939)

Apple is trying to comply with the laws of China. They have censorship this not a surprise. What business is it of non-Chinese?
This does not concern you or your rights. It's a Chinese issue, so mind your own business and stay out of China's internal affairs.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036143)

Censorship is bad for the world. Deal with it.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036193)

Human rights is *my* business, being a human myself.

And you sound like a paid representative of the genocidal gerontocracy that runs China. So fuck off and die.

Lots of love. AC.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

noshellswill (598066) | about a year ago | (#45036207)

Too bad APPL loves to give blojobs to chi.com gestapo.  Need  ROMAN JUSTICE applied, but till then ---  when Chinese imports to USA = $0.0 then we stay outa yo face. Till then welcome to Jeffersons club slantboi.

Tyrrany (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45036495)

Apple is trying to comply with the laws of China. They have censorship this not a surprise. What business is it of non-Chinese?
This does not concern you or your rights. It's a Chinese issue, so mind your own business and stay out of China's internal affairs.

Tyranny and caving in to tyranny and doing business with tyrants IS my business because I make it so. The diminishment of the human rights of one (let alone 1+ billion) diminishes all.

Don't like it? Get stuffed.

Re:Tyrrany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036883)

Please post your dealings with China.
When have you been there, what did you do. How did you find their censorship?

I'm working on a theory that most of the anti-china posters have never even been there.

Re:Tyrrany (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036945)

I know fnj, and he has been there lots of times. So have all the other anti-china posters.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036673)

Apple is trying to comply with the laws of China. They have censorship this not a surprise. What business is it of non-Chinese?
This does not concern you or your rights. It's a Chinese issue, so mind your own business and stay out of China's internal affairs.

Because maybe I am concerned with doing business with companies that are comfortable doing business with regimes that enact censorship? The same way I was concerned about my supporting companies doing business with South Africa back in the days of Apartheid.

By your standard I shouldn't be concerned that their products are also assembled in a modern company store, if not an outright sweatshop.

But you see, since Apple is an American company, by your logic I suppose it's OK for me to tell you that this is therefore an American issue, so mind your own business and stay out of America's internal affairs.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036729)

I'll make sure to quote this when non-Americans talk about American domestic laws. Hope I get modded up too.

Re:Mind Your Own Fucking Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036899)

Silly rabbit, this only applies to non-american companies... Laws like the US border patrol having enforcement powers some 200 miles INTO the country are fantastic and not a violation of any rights.

Apps appy after app apps anti-app app. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035957)

This is what appens when you trust apps for anything more than silly things like Candy Crush Saga.

You end up getting apped.

Alliteration (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035963)

Over use of alliteration is the sign of a significant lack of creativity.

Of course a broswer app can be illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035973)

The jackbooted thugs in charge declared it illegal.

Also, the Chinese government.

Dont blame the companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45035993)

For what your country obliges them to do!

Apple and MS look out with you try this on desktop (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45036001)

As app store only can lead to anit trust issues as well a MASS move to Linux.

Re:Apple and MS look out with you try this on desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036149)

I'll have some of whatever your smoking.

Re:Apple and MS look out with you try this on desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036873)

Yes! Everyone move to Mint! I mean Ubuntu! No, Xubuntu is best! We only support Red Hat! No way, SUSE is the superior platform! Bullshit, Debian is way better! You all are complete idiots, Gentoo is the only way to live.

Re:Apple and MS look out with you try this on desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036957)

As app store only can lead to anit trust issues as well a MASS move to Linux.

Awww, man. They'll seriously be in for it then! Especially when Apple... um... continues to enjoy absurd profit margins as evidenced by the fact that they're still alive despite Android taking chunks out of their business! Then, Apple will REALLY suffer when the super-turbo-hyper-ultra nerd factions out there get a rude awakening to the real world, a world where they're a pathetically small minority and most people just don't really care about their petty issues! That's some serious shit Apple's going to be in THEN!

Apple thinks with the checkbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036013)

Unless "outrage" threatens revenue as much as the Chinese gov's displeasure with the app, it's not worth considering to them.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036027)

'It is unclear to us how a simple browser app could include illegal contents, since it's the user's own choosing of what websites to view,' say the developers. 'Using the same definition, wouldn't all browser apps, including Apple's own Safari and Google's Chrome, include illegal contents?'
 
By that same logic, wouldn't any object be considered a deadly weapon since you can kill someone with just about anything? I wonder how many of the illogical idiots would want to live in a world where everything was held up to their own standards. They can't be that stupid as to not understand the concept of intent. Maybe they are. If that's the case than it's just all the more reason to ignore them.

There you go (5, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45036059)

You can only blame yourself for choosing to be part of the Apple walled garden.

Re:There you go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036585)

Agreed. This is a case study in one of the many problems with a walled garden approach to software.

Apple chose to accept responsibility for this decision when they accepted responsibility for what is put on their phones.

It's the same problem with ant-net-neutrality arguments. You can't have it both ways.

if you don't like it (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about a year ago | (#45036081)

the only reason China allows the iPhone in at all is that Apple has agreed to pull apps from that market that the government doesn't like. Bypassing The Great Firewall of China lands dead-center in that description. When doing business in China, you don't negotiate terms with Beijing. You take note of their terms, and you follow them, or you GTFO.

If you don't like that, consider the alternatives. No, let me correct that, the alternative. "NO IPHONE IN CHINA."

either way, you're not getting that app. At least this way you can still get the iPhone. (and Apple can still sell it there) It's a win-win. (Apple and the users in China) Some want it to be a win-win-win, but there's simply no way for those users to "win" in that way. Suggesting that Apple should fight this and get the iPhone pulled out of China is a cross between short-sighted and selfish. Apple is understandably going to say "no" when you try to take their ball and go home.

Re:if you don't like it (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about a year ago | (#45036233)

"If you don't like that, consider the alternatives. No, let me correct that, the alternative. "NO IPHONE IN CHINA.""

That's a better alternative.

Re:if you don't like it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036953)

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Millions of people think you're an idiot.

They're all right.

Angry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036093)

If they weren't angry they wouldn't be much of an activist group, would they?

Apple obeys Chinese and US law :) (4, Insightful)

ehack (115197) | about a year ago | (#45036127)

Apple obeys Chinese law by not allowing their citizens to bypass censorship , and it obeys US law by providing private information on the Chinese users to the US authorities :)

It's Apple's (App) store. They get to decide what (1)

RamiKro (3019255) | about a year ago | (#45036173)

to sell in it. They're not a monopoly so they don't need to excuse their decisions to not offer a product.

If you disagree with their policies, don't buy Apple.

Blame China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036183)

Saying China's draconian laws are Apple's fault is really reaching hard for some Apple hate click bait.

Um.. Why did they go with Apple ? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#45036227)

Just sayin.. If they bought an iphone and expected to be able to circumvent crap on their device... c'mon. This is why people who want more control over their stuff use something else.

Self censorship, it's the best kind. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#45036245)

May I assume than it can be downloaded from somewhere and installed on a jail broken phone? Or is Apple's DRM that good?

Re:Self censorship, it's the best kind. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45036853)

May I assume than it can be downloaded from somewhere and installed on a jail broken phone? Or is Apple's DRM that good?

You can always post it on say, the US App Store as a US-only app for free. Then just have users sign up for a free US iTunes account (there are ways to get one that require no credit card or other payment vehicle). Then just download it there and install it on your iPhone. (The iPhone doesn't care which account the app came from as long as it's been authorized).

Wait... (1)

neuroklinik (452842) | about a year ago | (#45036287)

Shouldn't these people be directing their ire at their own repressive government?

EVUL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036303)

OMG Apple is now entirely responsible for all the bad stuff in China! IN THE WORLD!

Hey Apple! How's it feel on the other end of this? (2)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#45036387)

Clearly you do not understand the word 'illegal' (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#45036455)

'Illegal' means someone or some entity decided you should not be allowed to. In this case, the government of China has decided their citizens may not access certain sites. Apple has no doubt been told they cannot permit apps to be provided that bypass those restrictions, or they will be punished for doing so.

Predictable.

Re:Clearly you do not understand the word 'illegal (1)

AaronMK (1375465) | about a year ago | (#45036821)

Does China make it illegal to sell or possess a device that will let the user "sideload" apps? Apple may have been told by China to take the app of the store (we can only speculate), but by making themselves the gate keepers of what apps a user can install, they give China a one stop shop to dictate the apps a large number of their citizens can use. Apple is not blameless, and while they might not censor so much on speech grounds, them making themselves the gatekeeper of apps is very China-like.

Where does it end? (2)

dnaumov (453672) | about a year ago | (#45036643)

Content that is legal in USA, may very well be illegal in Russia (Apple does business in both countries). What now?

Re:Where does it end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036863)

Are you saying that this app was available for both the US and Chinese App store, and has now been removed from both? Or are you just creating a new, entirely different discussion about problems that you want to be upset about but don't, in fact, exist.

Noe the chinese know why America is always at war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45036733)

With itself and others. Anything for money nothing else really matters.

Alliteration (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#45036815)

Alliterative Acronyms Are Always Awful, Avoid And Abstain As Appropriate

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