Reuters is reporting that Apple Inc will be removing VPN apps from its Chinese app store. This move has raised eyebrows and concern with some accusing Apple of caving under pressure from the government. Tech companies like Apple and Google are trying to get a foothold into the Chinese market where they could stand to make good money. The problem in China is the government. There’s plenty of regulation and control that foreign businesses will encounter and much of that favors the government, not its people. VPN’s are a good example.
A VPN could allow users in China to get around their “Great Firewall” and access information beyond its borders. Information the government doesn’t necessarily want them to see. Currently, China restricts access to foreign internet content and is shutting down providers that try and give that access. Apple’s removal of VPN services from the app store looks like another victory for the Chinese government.
VPN provider ExpressVPN said on Saturday that it had received a notice from Apple that its software would be removed from the China App Store “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,” ExpressVPN said in a statement.
Apple declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters on Saturday.
According to Reuters, users with billing addresses in other countries will still have access to VPN apps and not all apps had been removed yet. For its part, Apple is likely getting heat from both sides in the matter. On one hand, you have the government, who you have to keep happy in order to do business in China. On the other, you have users who are seeking to open up their world beyond the borders of their homeland. It’s a sensitive situation and one that many most likely have an opinion on.
Last Updated on December 20, 2018.