VPN Services On Apple's Chinese App Store Removed

Lucy Bush
August 1, 2017

One of the smacked apps, ExpressVPN showed its disappointment tweeting, "VPNs removed from China App Store, Dismayed Apple sided with censorship, but we're committed to keeping you connected".

Earlier this morning Patently Apple posted a report titled "A Chinese Government Official has clarified the VPN Crackdown that Apple is complying with".

Apple is finding it increasingly hard to hew to the demands of China's communist government while also placating those opposed to online censorship in the country.

ExpressVPN also released a message it had received from Apple, which noted that its app was being removed from the App Store in China "because it includes content that is illegal in China, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines".

China's anti-VPN law puts Apple in an awkward position. According to Apple, the apps had to be removed because they were in violation of recent regulations passed by the Chinese government.

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"Because others have eaten away at Apple's market share in China, it now has to pay more attention to regulation from government", said Beijing-based tech analyst Li Chengdong.

Fellow service Star VPN said it was a "very unsafe precedent" that could lead to similar actions in countries " where government control access to internet", such as the United Arab Emirates. President Vladimir Putin has just signed a law banning VPNs and proxies in Russian Federation from 1 November. "Our commitment to an open and free internet remains stronger than ever, and we will continue the fight in helping our users to stay connected, no matter where they are located".

Golden Frog - the developer of VyprVPN - also spoke openly against the Chinese government for its ban, criticising Apple for contradicting its company policies.

Comparing Apple's response to China's anti-VPN law to its fight with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over unlocking a suspect's iPhone in the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting is easy to do: Why would Apple capitulate to China when it resisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

Social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are blocked by Beijing. The new regulations will go into effect on November 1, and presumably, will mean that VPNs will also be pulled from the Russian App Store.

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There's also evidence to suggest the rise of WeChat, which lets users do pretty much anything inside its ecosystem, has diminished the importance of the operating system among many consumers in China. Apple said in the statement.

VyprVPN issued a statement stating they will issue an appeal with Apple but this is likely to make little difference to the situation.

Apple's growth in smartphones is highly linked to the Chinese market.

China is tightening its control on internet access in the country, and Apple is going along with it.

The company recently named Isabel Ge Mahe to be its first vice president and managing director of its business in Greater China, starting later this summer.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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