Digital Transformation

Apple purges anti-censorship apps from China App Store

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

July 30, 2017 | 3 min read

Apple has removed software which allows users in China to bypass censorship rules from its App Store in the region.

Several VPN apps, which let internet users circumvent the country's strict censorship system, are no longer available for download on the platform.

APPLE CHINA

Apple has yet to comment on the matter

One firm, ExpressVPN, published a blog containing a letter allegedly from Apple which explained that the software had been removed from the store on the basis it included content that is illegal on the mainland. Another provider, Star VPN, said on Twitter that its app had also been removed, calling the move a "dangerous precedent".

Apple has yet to release an official statement on the matter.

China's highly-sophisticated internet censorship apparatus, the Great Firewall, has been well-documented, with Reuters claiming earlier this month that it had recently been "upgraded" with new capabilities.

VPNs are the only way individuals and companies in China are able to access websites ordinarily blocked by the government, including Google, Facebook and Twitter.

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