Google release the update of Gmail for iOS today and brought us notification center and banner support for push.
It comes as a shock to me that such an innocent App is not available in Chinese app store. Visit the app page(http://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/gmail/id422689480?mt=8) would only yield a loading notice instead of App info. If you are using Chinese app store, this message would pop up in iTunes.
I searched "gmail" on my iPad in Chinese App Store. Curiously, many 3rd party Gmail App is available while the official one is missing
And here's the list of all apps on Chinese App store by Google. Blogger is completely blocked by the great firewall of China.Yet the app is accessible in the store. Why is the innocent Gmail app taken down?
What's more appalling is that the Gmail app has never appeared in Chinese app store since the day of its launch in November 2011 as I found out by a simple simple search on Google product forum.
Who decide to prevent this App appearing, Apple or Google?
I guess it's Google. Although Apple does have a history of taking down sensitive app deemed by Chinese Authority such as 譯者--an app that translating contents from press/books that are relevant to China, Apple has no legit reason to take down Gmail App while even the Chinese authority dare not to block Gmail outright,
But why a censorship fighter decide not to launch their mail app in China whole localization includes Chinese remains to be a mystery.
Another notable App censored is Skype.
Only a special version monitored by Chinese government --Tom Skype is available. I'm sure that Skype is self-censoring their App as they did with their website and desktop app.