US podcast platform Pockets Casts says Apple removed the app from the China store

(Reuters) – New York City's Pocket Casts podcasting platform said its app was removed from the Apple app store in China.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify why the app was no longer available at the store.

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Pockets Casts, ranked 85th most popular in the podcast news application section of Apple's U.S. website, said on Wednesday that the decision was made by Apple following intervention by Beijing's top Internet watchdog.

Apple employees in the U.S. were not immediately available for comment outside normal US market hours. Reuters was unable to immediately contact CAC by fax, using the official number provided by the government.

The removal comes amid growing debate over China and freedom of expression following the resurgence of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, angered by Beijing's plans to impose new security laws.

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Chinese activists separately from the US said on Thursday that Zoom Video Communications temporarily closed an account after the activists held an event to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China.

In a message on Twitter on here The Pocket Casts said his application "was removed by Apple … at the request of the Administration of Cyberspace China (CAC)."

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"We were contacted by CAC through Apple about two days before the app was removed from the store," said Pocket Casts on Twitter.

Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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