Apple has adopted HTTPS for searches and downloads on the version of iTunes used in China. The move comes at a time when China's government prepares to step up regulation of online app stores and continues its crackdown on VPNs. Greatfirewall.org, which tests blocked URLs and popular web platforms to provide info on censorship …
Does this scale?
By that I mean, they can't seriously expect to remain one ahead of China's government censorship for long can they?
The Force is strong with this one.
Re: Does this scale?
They probably don't need to. Apple has enough commercial importance that China wouldn't want to outright block iTunes if it can be helped, but by making their service a little harder to filter Apple can potentially negociate an arrangement where it agrees to 'abide by local laws and regulations' by self-censoring in exchange for some assistance from the government of China in another way. Perhaps by directing the ire of the censors over to the competitor, the Google play store.
Re: Does this scale?
Nah. There'll be enfored MITM certificate substitution soon. If UKGov were considering it (idiots), there's no reason to think China won't go ahead with it.
Maybe Apple just thought it was better for users privacy...
Slide of hand?
Hoping to use the ensuing furore to conceal their lying about sales figures for their latest iTurd I'd wager.
Somewhere down the road perhaps:
Beak: Your figures indicated 3 million sales in the first three days but only 1.4 million in the first three months. How do you explain that Mr Cook?
C(r)ook: The launch was a record-breaking success. The most sensational launch in China's history. We sold 2 million units in the first picosecond and were on course to sell a projected 276 gazillion in the first quarter but the protectionist
slanty eyed communist enemies Chinese authorities used a completely unforeseen technical pretext to launch a completely unexpected attack against our super-cool invention. The pressure they brought to bear on the population was so great that some customers even felt forced to return their purchases.
Beak: I see. Would you like to settle this case, with no admission of wrongdoing, for a fine of $13?
I can't see how China expects to do serious business with the rest of the world by blocking or attempting to block VPN connections.
The organisation I work for has presence in China and VPN is key to secure comms back to the UK, without this our clients just won't be interested in that market full stop.
without this our clients just won't be interested in that market full stop
They can probably fine tune this, eg only affect local domestic broadband connections, plus other refinements for business or hotel based connections etc.