Apple has removed VPN apps from its China store

Apple has removed VPN apps from its China store

As TechCrunch noted, it's still possible for users to create an App Store account under a fake identity from another country, though the process to do so is somewhat obscure.

While personal VPN providers have been the subject of state-led attacks in the past, this marks the first time Apple has complied with requests to scrub overseas providers from its store, a move that VPN providers say is unnecessarily supportive of China's heightened censorship regime. According to a report by the New York Times, numerous most popular such apps are now missing from the Chinese App Store.

Apart from the VPNs, Apple is working on more stuff under the pressure of the Beijing.

Apple may believe that it's the best for their business in China, but this latest move just became the biggest blow in the face of free internet in the history of China. This regulation appears to be the reason Apple was forced to remove providers like ExpressVPN and many others like it.

Putin has also signed another law that requires instant messaging service providers to verify the identity of their users from 2018.

Two popular VPN services ceased in China and left their users (which included professionals) without access to the global internet for work and with no means for an alternative. Foreign companies had developed the apps to get around China's Internet filters.




Beijing mandated in January that all developers must obtain government licenses to offer VPNs, leading to the Apple decision.

ExpressVPN reminded Chinese users that they could access App Stores outside of China by listing a foreign billing address, and that their apps for Windows, Android, and - intriguingly - Mac operating systems remained available.

Apple sent notifications to developers in China explaining their VPN app was removed from the App Store.

Reuters reported that "a number of VPN apps were still accessible on the China App store on Saturday", but there are still other companies that have had their software removed. "ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties".

Apple has yet to make a statement or reply to comment regarding their VPN app removal.

ExpressVPN claimed Apple was "aiding China's censorship effort".

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