updated 10:15 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2008
China resumes iTunes
Access to Apple's iTunes Store is once again available in China, although some content is no longer visible, according to SFGate. The service was apparently blocked by the Chinese regime last week; a controversial pro-Tibet album, however, is still unavailable to shoppers in the country. The album is suspected as the main reason for the earlier blockage of iTunes.
Chinese users started having problems logging into iTunes last week, quickly raising suspicion that the Beijing government was attempting to censor Songs for Tibet, released by the Art of Peace Foundation. The organization supports Tibetan independence, and the album features performances from several artists such as Sting and Dave Matthews, as well as a 15-minute speech by the Dalai Lama.
An article on China.org.cn, a website operated by the Chinese government's Internet Information Center, claims the album "has ignited strong indignation" among Chinese users. It also suggests that people now wish to ban the album's singers and producers from entering China, and that they will also begin to boycott all Apple products.
A complete severing of ties is unlikely however, as many Apple products are assembled in China, including Macs, iPods and iPhones. China benefits from local employment and investment, while Apple is able to tap into cheap labor and resources.