China is preventing its citizens from accessing websites such as Facebook or Google, and has forced companies to register their App stores with government regulators or remove content that it considers illegal. Apple has started to remove all major VPN apps from the China App Store, which helps internet users defeat the country’s censorship system.
This move was first noted by ExpressVPN, the creators of ExpressVPN announced that Apple informed them that their VPN app had been removed from the Chinese App Store because “it includes content that is illegal in China.”
According to ExpressVPN:
“We received notification from Apple today, July 29, 2017, at roughly 04:00 GMT, that the ExpressVPN iOS app was removed from the China App Store. Our preliminary research indicates that all major VPN apps for iOS have been removed.”
“While Apple’s decision is surprising and unfortunate, it does not change ExpressVPN’s commitment to keeping you securely and reliably connected. Our support team stands ready 24/7, including via live chat, to help any impacted users.”
Apple did not clarify this problem, it has strictly been implementing different aspects of Chinese law in recent months for its regional operations in the most populated country.
“Users in China accessing a different territory’s App Store (i.e. they have indicated their billing address to be outside of China) are not impacted; they can download the iOS app and continue to receive updates as before.”