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Apple pulls VPN apps from China's App Store over new government rules
01 Agosto 2017, 09:14 | Bibiana Flor
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The report further notes that "VPNs use encryption to disguise the source of internet traffic, allowing users to view websites that are banned in their home countries".
On one hand, the tech giant said it was legally required to eliminate the country's VPN apps because they did not meet the new regulations.
The removed VPNs are still available in Apple App Stores outside China. So this means that if you live in China, you could technically make an account as an American and use the US App Store, although that is a bit against the rules. Limiting access to an open internet has major implications for businesses trying to work overseas. We have all of the latest news about this change, with a notice just going out from Apple this weekend about the change. 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.
The company that provides VyprVPN, Golden Frog, was critical of the decision and that it would file an appeal with Apple. Star VPN has also removed the app to comply with Chinese law.
Making Apple remove apps from its store is an effective way for Beijing to enforce censorship, since the United States firm controls what apps are available in China.
"Earlier this year", Apple said, "China's MIIT [Ministry of Industry and Information Technology] announced that all developers offering VPNs must obtain a license from the government". In essence, China forced Apple to help in its widespread in-country internet censorship campaign.
The company recently named Isabel Ge Mahe to be its first vice president and managing director of its business in Greater China, starting later this summer.
'(It's been a) disappointing morning but we will fight on'.
Software made outside China can sometimes be used to get around China's domestic internet firewalls that block content that the government finds objectionable. But it seems the ability to use these tools to bypass censorship and other restrictive measures is cause for concern in some parts fo the world.
The regime has claimed that the measures are created to restrict access to extremist content.
The moves come ahead of Russia's presidential election in March.
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