August 26, 2008

Apple’s iTunes Available Again in China

Apple's iTunes online music store was available Tuesday in China after apparently being blocked by the government, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The newspaper said Chinese users had trouble accessing iTunes last week after the album "Songs for Tibet," featuring songs by Sting, Dave Matthews and Alanis Morrisette, became available for downloading. The album, released by the Art of Peace Foundation, also features a 15-minute speech by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

A spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington was unavailable for comment about iTunes, while an Apple spokeswoman acknowledged to the Chronicle that the service is available in China, although the newspaper said the Web page promoting "Songs for Tibet" remains unavailable.

Art of Peace Foundation Executive Director Michael Wohl said his group released the album to point out the limits of free expression in China, adding that 40 U.S, Olympic athletes in Beijing for the Summer Olympic Games had downloaded the album as a symbol of protest against the Chinese government.