• The offices of the the New York Times media empire in Midtown in New York.

The offices of the the New York Times media empire in Midtown in New York. (Photo : Getty Images)

Apple has banned the New York Times from its mobile app store in China at the request of Chinese regulators, the publication said in a report.

Since late last month, the NYT's mobile app has been blocked from the App Store following demand from local authorities.

According to several news outlets, the move stems from the NYT's series of articles published in 2012 discussing the massive wealth of the family of Wen Jiabao, who was the prime minister at that time.

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"For some time now the New York Times app has not been permitted to display content to most users in China and we have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations," Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, said in a statement.

"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."

Since releasing the controversial report on Jiabao's massive wealth five years ago, the publication's website has been banned in the country. The app used to allow Chinese readers to access the NYT's content without having to adopt a Virtual Private Network to dodge censorship.

Amnesty International said that the ban by Apple is part of the rising number of tech giants "effectively aiding China in its crackdown on free speech."

"It's extremely worrying that Apple is kowtowing to China's censorship by deleting New York Times apps," Patrick Poon, an Amnesty researcher, told CNN.

China's so-called The Great Firewall, its massive Internet surveillance and censorship tool, has said to affect almost 700 million users, per The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, mobile apps from other foreign news sites, such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, are still available for download on the Chinese App Store at the time of writing.