iTunes ‘banned’ in China after protest album stunt

Ok, this is pretty breaking news. Apparently Apple’s iTunes has been blocked by “the great firewall of China” (awesome name btw), as a reaction to a pro-tibetan album that’s been getting really popular there. To be more exact The Art of Peace Foundation’s Songs for Tibet compilation, featuring tracks by Alanis Morissette, Sting, Moby and 17 more artists.

The album was released as a download on the iTunes Store on August 5 – three days before the start of the Olympics – with the physical CD launched on Tuesday this week. Funds raised by the non-profit Foundation are donated to peace-related projects “that are dear to the Dalai Lama”, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom China regards as subversive. Furthermore, the album was given to athletes attending the Olympics, who were encouraged to put the songs on their iPod and play them as a form of protest.

This Monday, the pro-tibet organization announced that “over 40 Olympic athletes in North America, Europe and even Beijing” had downloaded the album. This was enough to pull the plugg, apparently. The same day, apple users who were momentarily expatriated in the Chinese space began to experience issues with their iTunes software. The problem resonated across most of China. Apple’s customer forums contain numerous examples.

This goes even further. A lot of Chinese internet users have been really offended by the Songs For Tibet album, released over iTunes, and intend on planning a boycott. According to a report published in the semi-official Chinese news portal,

“angry netizens [internet users] are rallying together to denounce Apple in offering Songs for Tibet for purchase. They have also expressed a wish to ban the album’s singers and producers,most notably Sting, John Mayer and Dave Matthews, from entering China.”

Can you guys, like, ban Dave Matthews from the entire world? That’d be graaand!

Anyway, Chinese internet users are also planning on blocking anything related to Apple, including the new iPhone 3G, the device that’s been turning head all around the world. Apple officials are in talks with Chinese mobile phone operators to launch the highly successful mobile phone in the panda’s home, but from the looks of it, their attempts might prove unfruitful.

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  • Jonathan Mead

    China’s on a rolllll. Wow.

    What will they ban next? Blinking? – The less boring side of personal development

  • DMB Fan

    Don’t ever talk bad about dave matthews again ya hear!

  • Tibi Puiu

    @DMB FAN: ha, so typical.

  • Kevin Shao

    Hells yeah! screw apple and their idiotic fan-boyism. I love China. This is why you don’t mess with China. Because unlike america, we have national pride. We have patriotism. We don’t sit idly by while ignorant outsiders verbally abuse our country. We kick ass and take names, beeyatch!

  • Kevin Shao

    The americans that support “Free Tibet” are opportunistic hypocrites (like John McCain). Why don’t they free Hawaii first? Hawaii was conquered by force around the same time as Tibet!

    You know what the difference between Hawaii and Tibet is? Hawaii was “so long ago, it’s not relevant any more” whereas “Tibet was only 60 years ago! The abusive evil chinese government oh noes!” But in reality it was like the exact same era that Hawaii and Tibet were taken over.

  • Jean Azzopardi

    Another difference is that Hawaii isn’t screaming for its independence like Tibet is.

  • Peter Marreck

    Comparing Tibet to Hawaii is a little sad.

    If you actually visit Hawaii, you’ll actually note Hawaiian culture. It was not “assimilated”, really, in any way.

    China, meanwhile, made a very open attempt to “assimilate” Tibetans. Chinese were shipped in to help this process. I will not bother to go into the robbing of the wealth in the tibetan monasteries or the treating of tibetans as second-class citizens. Even though none of that is happening in Hawaii right now.

  • she

    nor are there measures to inhibit the hawaiian people from continuing their basic way of life, to earn money, or to marry a fellow hawaiian… nor is the american government shipping in tons of mainland americans and giving them land and jobs to thin out the hawaiian population. what china is doing to tibet is wrong, there’s no doubt.

  • Scott

    Kevin Shao appears to have been successfully brainwashed by China’s campaign to rot the minds of their citizens.

  • Gore

    What do you guys exactly know about Tibet? Anybody that looks at the facts couldn’t possibly support Tibets. They’ve been shipping people around the world to protest. The riots in Tibet were violent, Han Chinese were targeted. The Dalai Lama is just a tool for the U.S. Gov. It’s fairly obvious…

  • Sam

    Oh dear…

    Even the Chinese people in the United States, who are supposed to be one of the smartest from China, is still repeating the same argument over and over again like a broken cassette tape player.

    Cut the “have you ever been to China” crap.

    Well obviously, it’s the great success of Chinese brainwashing education.

    (And remember, these people complain about every single news source in the world while they have no problem with them getting news from CCTV 1, CCTV 2, CCTV 3, CCTV 4, CCTV 5, CCTV 6, CCTV 7, and so on.

  • http://n/a JonnyG

    Kevin Shao..

    I like your comment. I’m glad that you have national pride for China. So much so, in fact, that you are here, in the US, waxing poetic about the greatest of your oppressive, Communist home country. China is not kicking ass and taking names. It is abusing a basic human right, that of free speech and free thought. Obviously, your country’s government doesn’t trust your people to think for themselves. What does that say about your people? Sounds like they might be even closer to the label sheep-le than Americans are..

    You left yourself open for the most juvenile of responses:

    If you like China so much, why don’t you go back, commie.

    haha thats awesome

  • A.Patriot

    I like China. It has done some really cool things and is richly cultured. Or so it was before everything started becomming censored. I like China. The Real China. Not The Peoples Republic Of. Taiwan is the real China. Peoples Republic Of….Go Suck an Egg.

  • bulut

    hey did you remove blog links or you’ll put it later. i’m removing your link if you wont put mine. goodbye

  • Tibi Puiu

    I’m putting them now. I’m still having some issues with the redesign. They’ll be up later today or tomorrow. Please be patient.

  • scooter

    wow.. despite the background reason.. i bet apple will bow down to china.. you really cant miss those millions of money china can give to apple can you?
    lol wish i was born chinese… can speak mandarin.. i’d be making so much business..

  • xiaohouzi

    I don’t know about all that but I’d say it should have come sooner.
    It’s sad to see so many young Chinese people listening to hip-hop.
    Little do they know how it will help destroy their own society. I just pray it’s not too late. Let’s do what we can to give our children a better future instead of turning a blind eye to what leads them to a thug life. Life in the ghetto is not supposed to be cool.

  • xiaohouzi

    …and to you americans who fear China and therefore don’t understand… get used to it. China already owns america and will rise above all other nations. Come on political asylum!