Apple Chops Several VPN Apps Not Compliant with New Chinese Law

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"While Apple may feel it had no choice but to remove VPN apps from its store, it's still incredibly disappointing as this is a significant blow to human rights in China".

Several VPN companies knocked the move, saying Apple may not fully realize what it has done by removing these apps.

ExpressVPN developers then confirmed that their application had already been removed, along with "all major VPN apps for iOS", from the China App Store.

According to reports, Apple has blocked over 60 VPN apps have been banned. Apple is in an awkward position in China because it's torn between wanting to support user privacy and needing government approval to sell to the lucrative Chinese market. Apple removed almost 60 VPNs from its China App Store over the weekend, claiming that the decision was legally required because the VPNs failed to comply with new regulations in China.

ExpressVPN noted in their statement that their apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and some other platforms are still available in China. In the United States, Apple clashed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Barack Obama, and faces a fierce critic of an internet with no regulations on speech in Donald Trump, though so far the president and his agencies have taken no new actions. Apple's compliance is being criticized by some as bolstering China's censorship efforts.

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Overseas services have also been increasingly targeted as the country moves to tighten control on the internet.

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? This includes popular sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and all of Google's services including Gmail and search.

In its fiscal second-quarter, Apple generated $10.7 billion in sales from Greater China, down 34 percent from the previous quarter and 14 percent from a year ago. Censors forced Apple to shut down its online book and film stores just six months after launching, the New York Times reported past year, citing sources.

After censors succeeded in blocking Tor, VPNs became the tool of choice for "scaling the wall", in Chinese online parlance, and are used as much by government institutions, state-owned companies, and educational establishments as by the general public. China is one of leading countries where freedom of speech is controlled by the authoritarian regime.

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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