Beijing, Aug.22 : Apple's online music store, iTunes, has been blocked in China after more than 40 Olympic athletes downloaded a pro-Tibet album from the site.
Consumers in China began inundating Apple help forums on Monday, saying that they could not access iTunes.
The album produced by the Art of Peace Foundation and promoted by the ICT, features 20 songs from high profile artists including Sting, Moby, Damien Rice and Alanis Morissette.
It was put on iTunes on August 5, three days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. "We don't know why the Chinese Government has blocked iTunes, but it seems the most logical explanation is that it is because of us," Michael Wohl, the executive director of the Art of Peace Foundation, told The Times.
Kate Saunders, from the ICT, said however that the hostile reaction was entirely predictable after violent rioting in China's Tibetan region in March and an Olympic torch relay dogged by international pro-Tibet protests.
The disappearance of iTunes behind the "Great Firewall" of China comes in the midst of the Beijing Olympics when the Government promised free and unfettered Internet access for journalists. While it has lifted blocks on some sites, many are still inaccessible.