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Apple Removing VPN Apps from China’s App Store

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Virtual Private Network (VPN) services have started to receive notices from Apple, detailing how their apps have been removed from the App Store in China, a move VPN companies claim is the iPhone maker bowing to the Chinese government and its “Great Firewall”, reports Reuters.

Apple store shanghai

Apple Road East Nanjing

Users in China use VPN apps to bypass the country’s strict cyberspace regulations, to access websites outside the country.

ExpressVPN told Reuters it was told by Apple their app was removed “because it includes content that is illegal in China”.

“We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts,” said ExpressVPN.

If you have an App Store account for a country other than China, you can still access VPN apps. Some VPN apps were still available in China’s App Store on Saturday.

Earlier this month, it was reported Apple was set to build a new data centre in Guizhou, to comply with Chinese cloud storage laws. Apple told Reuters at the time, “The addition of this data centre will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products and services while also complying with newly passed regulations.”

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  • Bill___A

    I am surprised they were there in the first place. Maybe a lot don’t know it, but you don’t get, for example, facetime in the UAE, and you can’t add it later either, the serial numbers are marked not to have it. The bottom line – each country’s laws have to be respected.

  • Biggy604

    Now this is why Apple Products do not do well in China, while Android based smart phones take up the majority of the smart phone market there (especially their own brands/iphone knock offs). They can just download or grab vpn app apk’s online or have someone outside their country buy and load it up for them. As Android phones allow apk’s from outside sources. Can’t do that on iPhone unless its Jailbroken.

  • Chrome262

    It’s market share and cheap products. Samsung is having issues now as well. Cheaper Chinese phones have the majority of the market, in fact flooding it. And outside sources for apps allows the Chinese government to put backdoors on any android phone

  • Chrome262

    Sure, but it still sucks

  • Riddlemethis

    Not really. China has some decent Android smart phones made for and exclusively in China. The quality is very good. Samsung is simply bloatware but they arguably have the best hardware…not software.

  • Riddlemethis

    You can’t jailbreak an iPhone 7.

  • digitalzeros

    back to pixelated movies…

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