China's access to iTunes restored
Store blocked after Olympians download 'Songs for Tibet'Click for more Beijing Olympics news
BEIJING -- Users can once again access iTunes in mainland China. Apple's online music store was fully blocked last week after it emerged that Olympic athletes in Beijing had used the store to download the compilation "Songs for Tibet."
However, the individual page for downloading the "Songs for Tibet" album remains blocked on iTunes, as well as on Amazon.com for Chinese users.
The 20-track album was released by the U.S.-based Art of Peace Foundation on Aug. 5 to coincide with the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was offered as a free download to Olympic athletes. A statement accompanying the release reads: "Wearing an iPod, a simple yet powerful symbol of personal freedom, provides Olympic athletes with an acceptable way to make a statement about the repressive atmosphere of the Games and express support for free expression."
Following another statement released by the Art of Peace Foundation on Aug. 18, revealing that over 40 Olympic athletes had downloaded the album, users in China began reporting problems with accessing iTunes, citing "The Great Firewall of China," a term referring to the Chinese Government's system of internet censorship.
An Aug. 8 article posted on China.org.cn, an official government news site, said the album had "ignited strong indignation" among Chinese Web users. According to the article, "the angry netizens are rallying together to denounce Apple in offering 'Songs for Tibet' for purchase. They have also expressed a wish to ban the album's singers and producers, most notably Sting, John Mayer, and Dave Matthews, from entering China."