Apple yields to pressure from Beijing, starts removing VPN apps from China App Store


The Chinese government is dead serious about controlling the internet, especially with the Communist Party Congress just around the corner. Earlier this week, China tightened its grip over messaging service in the country, as many WhatsApp users have been unable to continue to send or receive images, videos or even text messages.

Today, multiple VPN providers active in China have received notifications from Apple that informs them their software will be removed from the China App Store “because it includes content that is illegal in China.”

ExpressVPN has already issued a statement acknowledging the fact that Apple ultimately bowed to China's efforts of censorship and allowed the removal of the VPN apps from the local App Store.


Other VPN providers in China have taken it to Twitter to express their disappointment towards Apple's decision to remove their software from the App Store.

The good news is users with billing addresses in other countries will be able to continue to access VPN software from App Store. It's also worth noting that some VPN apps were still working in China over the weekend, but that might not last long.

source: Reuters

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31 Comments

1. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Even more reasons to jailbreak if you use an iDevice, they're just not worth using without jailbreak.

2. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

To you maybe. Just like my opinion that no Android phone on Earth is worth $600 because of s**tty software support and resale value. People have different perspectives on value.

3. AxelFoley unregistered

Why is it that "rich" people are concerned with the resale value of a cell phone? One would think people with money would prioritize having a device with software and applications that aren't constantly crashing over the amount that they can get for it on ebay. Stability and performance seem more critical.

7. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Why is it that "rich" people are concerned with the resale value of a cell phone?" A) Who said I was "rich"? B) How do you think said people got that much money? Understanding what value warrants and how to get the most out of every purchase. That's why resale value matters. "One would think people with money would prioritize having a device with software and applications that aren't constantly crashing over the amount that they can get for it on ebay." What the f**k are you talking about? There is no debating that iOS has the better applications in abundance, and crash rates are something like 3% higher because iOS updates actually reach OLDER devices, unlike their Android counterparts. Stop peddling bulls**t, it just makes Android users look petty. "Stability and performance seem more critical." It is... and that's why people buy iPhones instead of Android's premium offerings lol.

9. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

"There is no debating that iOS has the better applications in abundance, and crash rates are something like 3% higher because iOS updates actually reach OLDER devices, unlike their Android counterparts." I can give excuse for Android too. App developers have to develop their apps for like 10-15 iOS models? Meanwhile there are thousands of Android models.Different processor architecture, ARM32, ARM64 and x86. Processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, Huawei and others, from cheap ass processors to flagship. And phones too from cheap ass phones to flagships, all with hundreds of different hardware types and combinations. Different types of screen size, resolution, camera hardware, processors, fragmented OS distribution which becomes even more fragmented if you count OEM skins. If you use this theory, Android apps should be crashing way more than iOS in average because of way more variation of devices but its not. Excuses can go both way dude.

16. AxelFoley unregistered

A) You have said you are rich in a previous comment. You also don't even have to go back 2 articles on this website to see the "Android for poor people, Apple for rich people" narrative. B) People become rich by inventing, innovating, inheriting, hard work. Not ebay. People who are cost conscious and concerned with the of value money wouldn't pay $100 more for a phone that costs $50 less to build so they can sell it for $80 more on ebay after they have spent $220 more financing it with their subsidy. C. https://www.blancco.com/press-releases/android-tightens-grip-dominant-position-apple-smartphone-performance-battle/

17. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"You also don't even have to go back 2 articles on this website to see the "Android for poor people, Apple for rich people" narrative." That narrative has been spammed countless number of times on this site by the likes of Mxyzptlk, ctdog4748, piyath, cnour and lately it's MattPerkins1 constantly spamming it on Android articles.

4. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

From what I've read, you get a new phone every year or two at most. Why'd updates for longer than 2 years be so important to you? It'll be important for those who keep using the phone for 3-4 years or more.

6. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

It's a principal. What if I lost my job tomorrow (metaphorically speaking...) and couldn't afford my current luxuries? Having PoM is just as important to me then buying icon packs and fiddling with widgets. There is literally no benefit at all for buying a phone that may be completely neglected after two years of service. Of course, that's my opinion, and I feel it is justified.

8. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Thats reasonable. I guess.

24. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Then buy a Xiaomi flagship and be assured of unlimited updates. You can also start a little savings fund with the $400-500 you save when you hopefully do lose your job.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because he's an ignorant troll. Please don't feed the trolls. Please ignore ignorance. He isn't worth your time or effort. He is a completely stupid ignorant troll who PA uses to start fights and flame wars for clicks

15. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Lmao... the projection is too real!!!

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I get high resale value on every phone I've ever bought. If your stupid ignorant trolling ass want to include phones that Re cheap to began qith, then be stupid by yourself. As far as software its your opinion. IOS is s**tty software because it doesnt do s**t yet costs as much as phones that do. Why can't you just enjoy what you like, without s**tting on what others. Why can't bad stuff happen to idiots like you!

19. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

"Why can't you just enjoy what you like, without s**tting on what others" you do this all the time dips**t. "Why can't bad stuff happen to idiots like you" I wonder the same for someone who tells other people to "drop dead".

28. mikehunta727 unregistered

"why cant you just enjoy what you like, without s**tting on what others" This is exactly you lol..

29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No I do not. I talk bad about the iPhone becausw I own one. Anyone who says owning one is peaches and cream is a liar. The iPhone has all the same issues that plague other phones. Something are leas of an issue, some are more. I dont say someone is just because they own it. They are bad because they are so insecure about their choice tbey have to crap over anotger. I own both phones. I talk bad about all of them on sole level. But I dont go hyping BS as if its the end of the world because you say it. You are welcome to feel about me whatever you want. I coukd care less what you think about me personally. You know the old saying about opinions. Right? When people make foolish fanboy claims whichever justvexaggerated lies, it's annoying and I call them out. I want to enjoy tech for what it's worth. No one has a perfect phone period. When a fool says something stupid like the s7e isnt worth $800, but they claim their $800 phone which does far less is worth it. It's annoying. And I hate people like that. Just like what you like because it's what you want. When people says Android is for poor people, yes I wish they woukd choke on that last word until they had thwir intestines too th3 floor. Because if it wasn't for poor people, the iPhone woukd be dead. Rich people make up a very small population. Not enough to keep certain types of companies in business. After all 220M people bought iPhones. Not all of them are rich. There is nothing wrong with liking something different. We are all different. But any fool who makes false claims about some stupid inanimate object for likes of pats on the back is a douche and yes I will call them out because it takes the fun out of twch. Us older guys love tech and yes we nickpixk some things too. But we never fight over BS like the trolls here do and it sucks.

14. fyah_king unregistered

And the iPhone is not worth $800 .

23. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

If no Android phone is worth US600 then no iPhone is worth US300. I do not want features and functionality now not or three years down the road, updates that are stable not buggy for 6 months, phones that have bigger screens but are not too big and heavy and an OS that lets me do things how I want to and faster. For me paying more for less is what is true value.

27. iushnt

Posts: 3157; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

As for me no stock android deserves over $500.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No stock Android device is worth anything to me personally. Not even a free one. Back in th3 old days, Motorola's Blur, HTC Sense were what i preferred. Touchwiz was ugly to me on my Droid Charge. But when i got the S3 it was nicer and a bit clean so i gotbuse to it. I dont like the quirks that happen, but all phones have them somewhere. But stock Android is boring like IOS to me, so since i already have an IPhone, I need a Samsung to balance the scales.

5. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Jailbreak for Chinese users maybe. This isn't applicable outside China. Although Apple has recently updated their policy, they won't allow system wide adblockers using local VPN technique to update their apps anymore. Like Adguard pro and Adblock. When those apps get incompatible with newer iOS versions, then it'll be a good reason to jailbreak.

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Why waste money to get to jailbreak when you can just use other platforms? Apple isn't worth the headache. Period!

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Actually they aren't worth using at all.but to each its own :-). Apple bowing down to kiss up. Looks like more iPhone sales are gonna be dropping in China. They've always drop to 14% from last year. It will be in single digits aftwr this year.

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

China is becoming a serious cyber tyrant. Glad I do not do e-business in that country Damn.

20. AxelFoley unregistered

Apple does a really good job of standing their ground in the US. But the company with the biggest bank account caves in China. Facebook and Google said "screw it" when it when it comes to China. Not Apple. Apple thinks privacy and security are only worth fighting for as long as they know it won't impact their bank account. That being the case, they should slow down on their grandstanding on the issue instead of pretending they are fight on principal.

21. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Google and Facebook aren't in China because the Chinese government literally told them to go f**k themselves. Do you honestly believe two of the biggest data farming companies on Earth DON'T want to do business in the largest market on the planet? Your bias is showing through once more.

26. AxelFoley unregistered

Google and Facebook have negotiated with China on censorship and both refused to comply with their demands. This included Mark Zuckerberg's trip to China in March 2016. You think China wouldn't want access to to metadata that the companies are able to compile? They've refused to cave and remain banned. China basically oversees everything in the app store and Apple caves. But in the US, they go out of their way to keep every pedophile's phone locked in an effort to pretend they are standing up for freedom. Apple is generally fine as a company except for their clear, undeniable, undisputable, double-talk on this issue and their previous patent exploitation. Apple 3 times crash rate is also pretty clear. Their flock is what is annoying about them, especially when they can't even bring themselves to admit that Apple is a complete hypocrite on this issue. Hey look, I was able to write that whole comment without putting little stars in my words. Impressive, huh. If you really are that passionate, you'd use the actual word without fear of retribution if letters aren't replaced with stars.

31. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1366; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

No, Have to push back on that one. Google was told to leave because they would not cave to the communist request to censor an block certain things. Like People in the US freely discussing politics and human right issues. Google basically said "screw you" to the Chinese Governments request to block, remove and censor stuff. I am disappointed in Tim Cook and Apple for always "acting" like spineless little wimps when it comes to china and then acting like "defenders of freedom" when the US government asks them to comply with national security orders. That Aside I think Steve Jobs would have told the Chinese government "screw you" too. Tim on the other hand seems to have no backbone when it comes to China but just thinks about dollars which should make every iPhone user a little nervous ( what next The Chinese ask for access to all iCloud data and Tim says sure?).

22. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Communism at its finest. Personally, I could never own an iPhone. Apple and China share many traits. One pretty much tells the people to live their lives as the government sees fit while the other forces you to adopt their ecosystem or be left out with a brick in your hands

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