China Is Again Banning Feed Reader Apps

iOS feed readers Fiery Feeds and Reeder today tweeted that Apple notified them they were being removed from the Chinese App Store to comply with Chinese law. Both link to a 2017 tweet from Inoreader saying the same. (An earlier version of this post didn’t make clear that Inoreader’s tweet was three years old.)

It’s completely unclear what explains the three year gap here, and the entire policy makes no sense. 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 centralized feed aggregating sources) just as easily as it blocks websites. I suppose there’s not much point looking for sense in this decision — China is going to China.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020