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China blocks iTunes Store over pro-Tibetan content

updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu August 21, 2008

China blocks iTunes

The Chinese government is now blocking access to the iTunes Store as a result of pro-Tibetan content, writes the Sydney Morning Herald. The regime recently learned that Olympic athletes have been downloading an album called Songs for Tibet, with tracks by artists like Moby, Sting and Suzanne Vega. While in support of "peace-related projects" associated with the Dalai Lama, the album is also a form of protest against China's 1950 invasion of Tibet, and its continuing suppression of political and religious freedoms.

The album was deliberately released on iTunes August 5th, three days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, and the compliation's backer -- The Art of Peace Foundation -- has offered free copies to competing athletes, in the hope they will show support. The Chinese government's blocking of iTunes appears to have begun on Monday, when an American organization called Campaign for Tibet claimed that "over 40 Olympic athletes in North America, Europe and even Beijing" had downloaded Songs for Tibet.

China's regime maintains strict controls on Internet access, and currently blocks over 18,000 websites. Other sites, while accessible within the country, may be filtered to remove references to things like the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

by MacNN Staff





  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How dare they!

    Oh, they won't speak up. But they'll download music to 'show support'!

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Now if only Apple could afford to respond by moving their manufacturing elsewhere in retaliation - unfortunately we're all to addicted to cheap goods to let any company take the moral high ground.

    Although it would be an interesting option (move Product Red manufacture from China to a developing nation, or have a 'fairtrade option' and see if consumers respond).

  1. jameshays

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe they just need a hug? Can't we just talk?

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its about peace

    not war. I think Apple should not bother about it. iTunes store is a store. Go in buy and get out. What does it have to do with political agenda. will Wal-mart stop Obama or McCain from going in or will either of the presidential candidates ban Wal-mart for allowing the other to have purchased something from there.

    China needs to understand that songs are for supporting the peace process and it may take time. Moving manufacturing or closing business does not help but conflicts.

    In truth if tibet was a place where there was oil to get, I think Bush would have gone to war. But they don't even grow potatoes in Tibet to affect the economy.

    China's decision to ban a store, or keep a person within its borders is its own. Why should the world cry? If they hurt people yes we must protest but there is another way too.

    Have we heard of a person called Mahatma Gandhi?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sure It Is

    @Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, liberal talking points and all, you naive, wet-behind-the-ears newbie. If you truly believe that "Bush" (and the Congress of the United States of America, you moron) went to war over oil in Iraq, there's clearly something wrong with your premise. We're getting NO oil out of the deal. None. The Iraqi people ARE; we're not. But keep up your environmental obstructionist thinking, FFR, so we can keep sending our hard-won treasure to the Middle East, Russia, and Venezuela . . . completely ignoring the wealth that lies below our very feet. Appeasement, appeasement, appeasement: Thy name is "Fresh-Faced Recruit." (May your tribe AND your entire utopian "can't we all just get along" belief system decrease.)

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