Apple News is automatically switched off when entering China.
Steve Jobs once said: "Our DNA is as a consumer company - for that individual customer who's voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That's who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it's not up to par, it's our fault, plain and simply." This is apparently only true if you keep out of China with your iPhone.
Reports surfaced that Apple is disabling access to the new Apple News app in China. The Apple News app is only available to install in the United States. Users can trick the iPhone to install the News App by switching the region in the settings to United States. This is something that has been confirmed to work in Germany.
This loop hole however does not work in China. Apple goes much further with regards to this app's acces in China. Users who have the Apple News app and visit mainland China get cut off the Apple News service on a cellular network level. Apple does not need location information to cut off users from Apple News.
Larry Salibra is Founder & CEO of Pay4Bugs posted a detailed description of how the user experience is like on his blog. He goes into much detail and calls this censoring the China Kill Switch. Apple had this already in place for Apple Maps, to only display government approved maps.
Yesterday, an article in the New York Times raised attention to the deactivation of Apple News in China. A source confirmed to the NYT that Apple has disabled the Apple News service in a response to the strict content censorship requirements that Chinese government enforces.
End of September Apple launched Apple Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks in China. Apparently the company feels confident to be able to censor these services under the Chinese requirements.
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In the end it comes down to managing expectations. Apple has not informed users that Apple News is switched off in mainland China. We assume Apple does not feel inclined to do so because Apple News is not launched outside the United States. There are though Americans who travel to China who have had a bad user experience without knowing why.