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13 Aug 2017

China: Apple pulls down VPN apps that beat censorship from Chinese App Store, company says they do not meet new legal requirements

"…Apple pulled down several VPN apps — programs that allow iPhone users to bypass the Chinese government’s censorship apparatus — from its Chinese App Store…Apple’s only public statement on the VPN ban said that the company had been “required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations..."

From another source, Tim Cook was quoted saying "...This particular case, we’re hopeful that over time the restrictions we’re seeing are lessened, because innovation really requires freedom to collaborate and communicate...We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever we do business."

"A Chinese partner of global e-commerce firm Amazon.com [Sinnet] Inc has [also] told customers to stop using illegal virtual private networks (VPNs), which can circumvent internet censorship...An Amazon Web Services spokesman said that to comply with Chinese laws and regulations, the firm had to operate in China through local partners such as Sinnet. Sinnet's notice was "intended to remind customers of their obligations," he said..."