Apple has withdrawn the New York Times from its China App Store, following a request from Chinese authorities.
The paper said the move was aimed at preventing readers in China “from accessing independent news coverage”.
Apple said they had been informed the app violated Chinese regulations but did not say what rules had been broken.
Western media have long been facing difficulties making their content available in China with many outlets frequently or permanently blocked.
According to the New York Times, Apple removed both the English-language and Chinese-language apps from the App Store in China on 23 December.
The paper cited an Apple spokesperson as saying the firm had been “informed that the app is in violation of local regulations” which meant it had to be taken down.
“When this situation changes, the app store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China,” the spokesman said.
The New York Times said they had asked Apple to reconsider the decision.
The paper’s website has been blocked in China since 2012 after it published a number of reports on the private wealth of members of the political elite and their families.
The New York Times attributes the request to pull the app to new regulations officially designed to curb activities “such as endangering national security, disrupting social order and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others”.
“The request by the Chinese authorities to remove our apps is part of their wider attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage by The New York Times of that country, coverage which is no different from the journalism we do about every other country in the world,” the paper’s spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said.
Users who have their accounts registered on an App Store other than the Chinese one can still download the apps.
Apps from some other international media outlets can still be accessed, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, BBC News, the Financial Times, ABC News, CNN, and Reuters.
In the case of the BBC, the Chinese-language website is blocked while the English version occasionally has some human rights or political stories blocked on both the website and the app.
A number of other Western websites like Google, YouTube and Facebook are also blocked in China. BBC News