Net Nanny Follies

Apple's answer to the Net Nanny of China

Chose your poison

On August 20, China technology, telecoms and media consultant David Wolf wrote a blog post:

Apple's bi-polar China disorder

So here is the deal.

Apple starts selling an album called "Songs for Tibet" on its iTunes Music Store (iTMS), and they do it right in the middle of the Beijing Olympics. Coincidence, or passive-aggressive middle finger to China? Apple isn't saying anything about it, so we are left to reach our own conclusions.

Next, word gets around that a bunch of Olympic athletes staying here in China - reports say as many as 40 - have purchased and downloaded the album.

Yesterday, people around China began noticing that the iTMS is no longer accessible from China. A few of the more tech-minded actually decided to try to use traceroute to figure out why. They confirmed that access to iTMS was being blocked by China.


On August 21, The Sydney Morning Herald published a story titled iTunes blocked in China after protest stunt.

The iTunes store has been blocked on China's Internet since Monday.

As of today, it is no longer blocked. Instead, a menu item comes up with a bunch of country flag icons, forcing you to choose and making it slightly difficult to gain access to the American store with its—for China, politically incorrect—Tibet albums. But the iTunes store is accessible.

This is a smart accommodation, not unlike Google's method of operating in China without sacrificing its global principles, which this writer has defended in the past.

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There are currently 2 Comments for Apple's answer to the Net Nanny of China.

Comments on Apple's answer to the Net Nanny of China

Don't you think those past tense singers are just jumping the wagon?
Com'on, do not fool yourself. Free Tibet? What a catch phrase that all the western people are loinging for? Sour grape can not produce self denial of true story.

We've just released a free service to de-block itunes, for anyone still having troubles: | hopefully it is useful and demonstrates that authoritarian control isn't automatically capable of repressing cultural diversity. Official announcement at:

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