Apple has removed all major VPN apps from the App Store in China. Those apps are crucial for the internet users in China to overcome the country’s censorship system. Apple has pulled those VPN apps for allegedly including illegal content in the country.
ExpressVPN, the provider based outside of China first noted the move. According to its blog post, all the major VPN apps, including its own had been cleansed from Apple’s China-based App Store. The note below shared by the company, which they received from Apple, explains the reason behind the removal.
Some users noticed that those VPN apps can be used if they’re downloaded from App Stores from another country. However, many users still don’t know the process of creating an App Store account in a different country.
Star VPN, another provider tweeted that Apple also removed its app from the App Store.
— Star VPN (@star_vpn) July 29, 2017
“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 strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties,” ExpressVPN wrote on its blog.
However, ExpressVPN users in China can use its apps on Windows, Mac, Android and other platforms, the company ensured.
At the start of 2017, China also made Apple remove the New York Times app from the app store. So this move might be disappointing, but not surprising.