Apple's iTunes store reported blocked in China

By: spambot on 21 August 2008
Posted in China

The Sydney Morning Herald is among the first to report that Apple's iTunes store is blocked in some parts of China. Although Apple's China website is accessible, an attempt to access the iTunes store from an Internet connection in Beijing resulted in a reset (see screenshot).

The source of controversy is an album released on August 5 called Songs for Tibet, produced by The Art of Peace Foundation. The SMH cites a brief report from China Radio International, stating that the album advocated Tibetan independence. This stirred up "strong indignation among Chinese netizens" on online forums, who are denouncing Apple, boycott all of its products, and 'ban' the singers and producers of the album. An initial search on a number of Chinese-language forums did not yield any results relating to the iTunes controversy.

The organization's website is accessible in China, and while it is "dedicated to achieving the Dalai Lama’s vision of creating peace within our selves and in the world," it does not appear to openly support Tibetan independence. The album's webpage (also accessible in China) purports to "support peace initiatives and Tibetan cultural preservation projects important to the Dalai Lama." The Dalai Lama does not officially endorse independence for Tibet.