"We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations," an Apple spokesperson told NYT. "As a result, the app must be taken down off the China App Store. When this situation changes, the App Store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China."
That statement doesn't tell the whole story, though. Apple didn't say which laws were being violated, who made the requests or if there were any legal orders for doing so -- which makes appealing the decision a lot tougher. When I posed those questions, I got a response from Apple's PR department that was extremely similar to the one NYT received.
Without any concrete reasoning, NYT is left guessing why Apple took the measures it did. One possible reason is that simply by doing its job as a news organization, that the publication violated aspects of the China's Provisions on the Administration of Mobile Internet Application Information Services. That framework (translated) prohibits, among other things, the dissemination of "illegal information" and app providers from endangering national security and disrupting social order.
Also known as "things an independent news source does on a daily basis" when viewed by leaders of a Communist state without a free press. The publication says that folks who already have the app installed should still be able to use it, but new users will have to use another country's App Store to download it.