China loses YouTube, could get iPhone

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The next Yao Ming won't be crowned the "Best Dunker on YouTube."

Without explanation, China on Tuesday locked down access to the popular video-sharing site, according to Scott Rubin, a spokesman for YouTube's parent-company, Google.

"We don't know the reason for the block. Our government relations people are trying to resolve it," he said.

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The Times of London reported that a graphic video depicting Chinese police beating handcuffed Tibetan prisoners may have prompted the block.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based advocacy group, criticized the move in an BBC article:

"China's apparent blocking of YouTube is at odds with the rule of law and the right to freedom of expression," said CDT president Leslie Harris.
"Anytime a country limits or takes down content online , it must be forthright and specific about its actions and do so only in narrowly defined circumstances consistent with international human rights and the rule of law," Harris said.

Just over a year ago, China blocked YouTube and most chat rooms in response to news about Tibet. The Monitor's Peter Ford had the story.

Officially iPhone?

Though the YouTube function may not work when it arrives, Apple's iPhone appears headed for China.

A regional site for mobile provider China Unicom posted images of the smartphone this week on a page promoting the 3G wireless network the company is building, the IDG news service reported. (Anyone care to translate?)

"Apple and China Mobile, the country's largest carrier, have negotiated off and on for over a year about bringing the iPhone to China but have thus far failed to reach a deal," writes CNET's Tom Krazit.

Venturebeat reminds, of course, that the iPhone has been in China for some time now, if one counts Hong Kong and Macau.

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