Apple is reportedly making a huge concession to the Chinese government


Apple China
A
man stands near Apple’s iPad advertisement in Shanghai,
China.

AP/Eugene
Hoshiko



BEIJING (Reuters) – Apple Inc is removing virtual private network
(VPN) services from its app store in China, VPN service providers
said on Saturday, accusing the U.S. tech giant of bowing to
pressure from Beijing to comply with stringent cyberspace
regulations.

VPNs allow users to bypass China’s so-called “Great Firewall”
aimed at restricting access to overseas sites.

Beijing has shut down dozens of China-based providers and it has
been targeting overseas services as it bids to tighten its
control over the internet, especially ahead of the Communist
Party congress in August.

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.

Another provider, StarVPN, said via its Twitter account on
Saturday that it had also received the notice from Apple.

Apple declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters
on Saturday.

China users with billing addresses in other countries will still
be able to access VPN apps from other branches of the App Store.
A number of VPN apps were still accessible on the China App store
on Saturday.

Apple is in the middle of a localization drive in China, and
named a new managing director for the region – a new role – this
month.

It is also establishing a data center with a local partner in the
southwestern province of Guizhou to comply with new Chinese cloud
storage regulations.

 

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; writing by David Stanway; editing by
Jason Neely)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com