Apple has removed an application that allows users to evade censors while reading posts on sites like Weibo from its Chinese app store, the software’s developers announced on Friday. It had about a good two month-long run.
Users of the FreeWeibo app were able to access sensitive posts that might have been deleted or censored, one of its designers said in an AFP report.
The application was blocked at the end of last month following a request by Beijing, which reportedly co-developed the app along with Chinese cyber-activists.
Beijing had told Apple that it “goes against local laws”, according to AFP.
“Apple’s image of being a hip and trendy company is eroding — the brand will hold little cachet for the consumer because of actions like these and in the long run that means less Apple devices will be sold,” a co-founder of FreeWeibo said in the report.
“Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his grave. This is a ‘bad karma’ move on Apple’s part,” he said.
They’re probably just biting the bullet for that pending China Mobile-Apple deal. Anyway, we can’t leave China’s two million online censors sitting with idle hands.