The New York Times app has been removed from the Chinese Apple App Store at the request of the country's authorities. It has been revealed that near the end of December 2016, all English and Chinese-language apps created by The New York Times were removed from the store. No comment has been given by the Chinese authorities regarding the reason behind the request, but the country's internet regulator has blocked websites belonging to the publication since 2012. Since that time, Chinese readers have been known to use special software to bypass the online block, but up until now have been able to access the app. Apple has said that it was informed by authorities that the app was in “violation of local regulations”, but no further information was given. The New York Times has responded to the removal of the app by arguing that the decision was part of an “attempt to prevent readers in China from accessing independent news coverage”. It was also pointed out that the decision was made on the same day that one of the publication's journalists contacted the Chinese government as part of a story about alleged financial perks the country provided to a Chinese iPhone factory.