Apple pulls major VPN from China App Store

James Marshall
July 29, 2017

Apple has begun removing all VPN apps from the App Store in China, as first noted by the developers of ExpressVPN. Those providers accused the tech giant, based in the US of bowing to the government of China's pressure to comply with Beijing's strict regulations related to cyberspace and the Internet.

Beijing has shut down dozens of China-based providers and it has been targeting overseas services as it bids to tighten its control over the internet, especially ahead of the Communist Party congress in August.

A notice from Apple said the software "includes content that is illegal in China, which is not in compliance with the App Store review guidelines", and the decision was made on Saturday, according to ExpressVPN.

Following a crackdown on VPNs by the Chinese government, Apple has removed VPNs from its Chinese App Store. which was used to enable people to bypass censorship in the country. It's also worth noting that some VPN apps were still working in China over the weekend, but that might not last long.

Calls to Apple's mainland China unit went unanswered on Saturday.

However, the notification did say that ExpressVPN would be available in other territories except for China. A number of apps that offer VPN still remained accessible on the App Store in China on Saturday.

China is Apple's major market for its flagship products, including the iPhone and iPad.

It is also establishing a data center with a local partner in the southwestern province of Guizhou to comply with new Chinese cloud storage regulations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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