Apple pulls dozens of VPN apps from China ahead of national ban

Apple pulls dozens of VPN apps from China ahead of national ban

(AAPL) has removed about 60 popular apps from its app store in China that allowed users in that country to access virtual private networks, or VPNs, to get around a vast system of government-imposed internet filters.

On one hand, the tech giant said it was legally required to eliminate the country's VPN apps because they did not meet the new regulations.

Apple has capitulated to China's internet control laws and removed VPN apps from the App store in the country.

This is follows a mandate earlier this year that all developers must obtain government licenses to offer VPNs in the country.

Now the Chinese authorities know they can strong-arm Apple into removing features of the service they dislike it won't be long before they're requesting the manual VPN set-up feature be removed or blocked from devices registered in China.

Meanwhile, just a couple of weeks ago, several users also reported that they were unable to use the famous mobile messaging program Whatsapp in China even through a VPN. Apple said in the statement.

WhatsApp achieves 1 billion daily active users mark
The original subscription fee was stopped after Facebook bought the company for £11.4 billion in 2016. Interestingly WhatsApp has grown more than two folds after it was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

From Apple's perspective, the move is likely a gesture of good faith as it continues its efforts to maintain strong ties with China's government, which has heavily restricted the ability of western technology companies to compete.

VPNs in China allow users to get through the government Firewall easily and it becomes hard to the Chinese authorities to monitor all communications on the internet that tracks blockages.

China is Apple's third-largest market, behind North America and Europe and the company has been struggling there in recent quarters. The law will take effect on November 1. "Apple has done much good for privacy and security in recent years, but actively assisting censorship crosses the red line of human rights", he wrote on Twitter.

ExpressVPN, a VPN company posted a letter saying its app has been taken down for putting illegal content in China. Apple could be concerned that it might receive the same fate if it gains the ire of China's government.

Unfortunately, China may be teaching a lesson to countries that purport to support free speech and individual rights of privacy by showing that a firm stance and regulatory power can be wielded to restrict access to tools that have a legitimate objective. The company also recently appointed a managing director of Greater China. Xiaomi and Huawei, two of China's biggest domestic manufacturers, accounted for more than 29 percent of the market past year.

Apple might better serve its customers and democracy worldwide by taking a principled political stance in opposition to China's regulations on the grounds of human rights.

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