Apple Drops VPNs From China And Russia Joins The Party

A VPN could allow users in China to get around their “Great Firewall” and access information beyond its borders

According to The Times, a year ago Apple agreed to remove news apps created by The New York Times from its app store, claiming the request had come from Chinese authorities.

Professor Madnick took a measured approach when assessing Apple's VPN decision, and pointed to the gospel axiom "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" as a normal cost of doing business for tech companies outside the US. VPN apps that provide servers to surf the internet anonymously and access banned content, have not only been hit by Apple in China but Russia's president has also signed a law today to deactivate all the VPNs and proxy servers in the country. With low cost local competitors cutting into the iPhone's market share, Apple's profits are more likely to rely on apps and services, some of which could run into China's censorship ruling.

This is follows a mandate earlier this year that all developers must obtain government licenses to offer VPNs in the country.

On Sunday An Apple spokeswomen are confirmed it will remove the app that does not comply with the law in China App Store.

Apple gave notice to ExpressVPN, VyprVPN and, StarVPN, saying that their products would be removed from the app store.

VPNs enable users to get around China's highly restrictive internet features.


The new law signed on July 31, 2017, by the #Russian president goes into full effect on November 1 of this year as well. In essence, China forced Apple to help in its widespread in-country internet censorship campaign.

With its latest move, Apple clearly exercised compliance with Chinese legislation cemented in January.

Comparing Apple's response to China's anti-VPN law to its fight with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over unlocking a suspect's iPhone in the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting is easy to do: Why would Apple capitulate to China when it resisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

China opposes the unrestricted access by its citizens and other residents of the global internet, blocking many key services and technologies like Facebook, Google search, and Twitter.

This, unsurprisingly, hasn't gone down well with VPN providers. The service lock-in to Apple hardware just isn't the same in China.

There's also evidence to suggest the rise of WeChat, which lets users do pretty much anything inside its ecosystem, has diminished the importance of the operating system among many consumers in China. China continues being strictly an authoritarian regime in spite of it being the most populous country in the world. And Apple has announced it will establish its first China data centre in the politically important province of Guizhou, and has created the new position of a managing director for Greater China, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

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