Apple Investigated for Providing Pornographic Content in China

Apple is again in the crosshairs of the Chinese government and, in the pages of the People’s Daily, as the company appeared in an article listing a number of websites and app stores that have been investigated for providing pornographic content in China.

Despite Apple’s size and turbulent recent history in China, Apple is not highlighted in People’s Daily story, being only one of many companies named in the probe.

The Chinese government is extremely well-known for its crackdowns on politically sensitive material. However, it has also long sought to keep pornography off the web in China. This is the reason why the Chinese government started repeated campaigns to stop unauthorized information online. For instance, in March, a campaign has been launched against pornography in online games advertisements, mobile systems applications and online media players.


Following the March campaign, a government regulator considered Apple’s App Store as being a source of explicit pornographic content late last month. As a consequence, at this moment, Apple must remove the offensive material from its App Store and also submit a report on the violation. In addition, Apple should implement measures in order to prevent future violations

These accusations came although Apple is notoriously vigilant in keeping adult material out of its App Store as best it can. For example, when new users want to download the app, the default settings are set to “safe search” mode that filters out nude images.

This is just Apple’s current issue with the Chinese government. The company was also criticized by Chinese media over its hardware warranty policy, CEO Tim Cook being in the position, to publicly apologize, and introduce changes to that policy.

According to some analysts, Apple appears to be targeted by the Chinese government just as Google was in 2009. Not only that China Central Television accused Google of spreading pornography, but the accusations were followed by heavier hacking attacks, which lead to moving its business to Hong Kong.

The importance of the Chinese market in terms of mobile computing is recognized by Apple. From January 2012 to January 2013, the U.S. added 55 million new smart devices. Over the same period of time, China added nearly three times as many: 150 million new devices. Because China has more than four times the population of the United States, it is not anticipated that the U.S. will regain the lead in device activations. Therefore, Apple is continually positioning its products to be successful in China.

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