Apple has decided to remove its VPN services from the app store of Apple in China. This announcement led to huge criticism by VPN providers as they say that this removal is because Apple was unable to handle pressure from Beijing cyber regulators.
What VPN does is that it allows users to access data or sites that have been restricted by the concerned Chinese authorities. A law was passed in Beijing to ban all VPNs unapproved by the State government. It was told that those VPNs that are approved would only use government infrastructure.
So now on Sunday Apple’s management announced that all Apps that are not in harmony with Chinese law would be eradicated from Chinese App Store which also includes VPN services.
The China based service providers are already tightly controlled by the government, now the country has targeted Foreign Service providers. The Internet is completely in control of the government and more regulation is put in place before Communist Party congress that would be held in August.
VPN service provider issue has been ongoing in China for quite some time but for the first time Apple has obeyed the demands of the Chinese government and removed overseas providers from its Chinese store.
ExpressVPN received a notice from Apple which said that as the VPN includes content that is considered illegal in China so it would be removed from the store. ExpressVPN spokesperson said that they are extremely disappointed not just in Chinese government but also by Apple’s support to such a demand.
Other than ExpressVPN, VyprVPN and StarVPN confirmed that they received similar notice from Apple.
Sunday Yokubaitis, President of Golden Frog said that the Internet is a human right and the company would file an appeal against Apple for this decision.
There are a few VPN addresses that are still accessible in China but many have been removed. Apple’s aid and full support to China in such a matter is surprising as well as disappointing.