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1 Aug 2017

Andrew Griffin, The Independent (UK)

Tim Cook's response to concerns about Apple's removal of VPN apps from Chinese App Store

"Apple's decision to remove VPN apps from the app store in China", 2 Aug 2017

Tim Cook has responded to criticisms that Apple is quietly removing apps from the App Store for the Chinese government...

Apple has been on the end of sustained criticism over the removals, which critics argue reduce the freedom of users. VPNs are required to access many websites from inside China, and serve as a way of getting around the country's infamous Great Firewall...

"We believe in engaging with governments even when we disagree," Mr Cook said. "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. I know that is a major focus there. That’s sort of what we’re seeing from that point of view...Today there’s still hundreds of VPN apps on the App Store, including hundreds by developers outside China. We would obviously rather not remove the apps, but like we do in other countries we follow the law wherever we do business."