Apple Inc. said Friday it hopes to resume its online iTunes and iBooks services in China, where they were recently shut down less than seven months after being launched. The New York Times reported Thursday that Apple’s online movie and book stores initially received government approval but were blocked last week on orders from the broadcasting regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. Apple said in an emailed statement that it hoped the services could resume “as soon as possible,” but offered no details about the shutdown.
We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible.
Apple statement via the New York Times
Chinese regulators have been cracking down on a wide range of online content, including blocking popular overseas news, entertainment and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. That’s partly to maintain the ruling Communist Party’s strict control over media, but also to provide space for Chinese competitors such as search engine Baidu, microblogging site Weibo and messaging app Weixin. China is also eager to promote homegrown phone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi, and foreign equipment suppliers such as IBM and Cisco have seen some decline in sales because of increased competition from local brands.