An influential Chinese tabloid attacked The New York Times Friday for spreading its “rabid ideological” views and opinions to China.
Apple officially removed the English-language and Chinese-language apps for The New York Times from the China App Store in late December after deeming it “in violation of local regulations.” While the move triggered a protest from the New York Times, The Global Times, a publication produced by the state-run People’s Daily, argues the ban was justified.
The Chinese internet censorship authorities began blocking The New York Times website in 2012 following a series of less-than-flattering investigative reports.
The Global Times accused The New York Times Friday of “trying to wield influence in China’s internal affairs” by “churning out sensational stories about sensitive topics.”
Citing U.S. concerns about the spread of Russian and Chinese propaganda and disinformation into American society, the Global Times argued, “How should Beijing not keep alert about rabid ideological organs like The New York Times?”
“Some Western media overestimate their status and values,” the Chinese tabloid explained, noting that greater China contributes to roughly one-fifth of Apple’s revenue, giving it the power to force the company to bend to its will.
Apple “cares most about business, so it is willing to respect Chinese laws,” the paper argued.
China became Apple’s biggest iPhone market in April 2015.
“Managing information in the Internet era is a challenge that all the countries need to face,” The Global Times explained, “China cannot do anything about The New York Times if it makes up stories outside China. But it is another situation if it is the Chinese market.”
The apps for other big-time media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, are still available. The Chinese tabloid suggested that The New York Times “reflect on its app removal.”
“If these media get involved in the complicated process of China’s rise in a proper way rather than taking a hostile mentality toward China, they will be accepted,” indicating that those who take an opposing stance will fall.
The New York Times has asked Apple to reconsider the recent ban, claiming that the removal of the app “is part of a wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage from The New York Times.”
“The Chinese government encourages and supports internet development, [but] the development of Internet in China must follow the principle of conforming to Chinese laws and regulations,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular press briefing Thursday.
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