RSS Feed Readers Removed From The Apple App Store China

By Todd KuhnsLast Updated on Oct 6, 2020
RSS Feed Readers Removed From The Apple App Store China

This week, the South China Morning Post reported that Apple has removed RSS readers Fiery Feeds and Reeder from the Chinese Apple App Store.

Although there is a blanket ban on unapproved VPN apps in China, RSS readers still seem to be treated on a case-by-case basis. Apple nor the companies have given a reason for the removals, but as usual, direct government request is suspected. Other feed-readers remain up for now.

From the SCMP:

“It is not clear why Fiery Feeds and Reeder are just being removed now, three years after Feedly and Inoreader got the same treatment. Many Chinese RSS apps remain in the store. And some apps like NetNewsWire can store content locally without relying on cloud services. This could keep users from circumventing the Great Firewall unless pulling from feeds on unblocked websites.

“NetNewsWire, an open-source reader for macOS and iOS, offers optional syncing through Feedbin and Feedly, similar to how Reeder works. But NetNewsWire said on Twitter that it has not been affected, “at least so far.”

“It’s completely unclear what explains the three-year gap here, and the entire policy makes no sense,” tech blogger John Gruber wrote on his site Daring Fireball. “Why ban feed readers but not web browsers? At a technical level, feed readers are just web browsers for RSS feeds. China’s Great Firewall should block feeds (and centralised feed aggregating sources) just as easily as it blocks websites.”

It has been three years since the popular RSS newsreaders Inoreader and Feedly were removed from the Chinese Apple Store. It’s commonly understood that such removals are likely part of the Chinese government’s efforts to censor content.

Apps and games in China must pass a number of content standards to be allowed to be published on the Apple App Store China and the various Chinese Android app stores in the country.

Read more at the SCMP’s original article .