Earlier this year we covered Apple’s swift and compliant response to the Chinese government to remove VPNs from the App store. Now, Apple is doing even more to remain in the good graces of the Chinese government by removing even more apps that are violating local Chinese laws.
It’s now becoming common to see China and other censorship-heavy countries in the world use fear-mongering and scapegoating to restrict free speech and activism in the face of terrorism. In the same way that books were burned in the past for spreading “bad ideas”, now messaging apps are being banned since they can provide ways for “criminals” to communicate.
The newly restricted apps include harmless applications like Skype and other messaging apps.
Why restrict these apps? Well, these apps go outside of Chinese law and they don’t log and record data to be inspected by the Chinese surveillance regime. China prefers people use apps and services that are directly controlled by surveillance parties.
Apple rationalizes its compliance with China’s increasingly concerning control over the internet by explaining that “they have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law, therefore these apps have been removed from the App Store in China.” What can Apple do after all?
It’s easy to forget that Apple is a company. The entire brand is focused on making amazing products while remaining eco-friendly and CEO Tim Cook often stands on the side of privacy, like preventing the FBI from cracking the iPhone’s security. However, at the end of the day, Apple doesn’t really care about the privacy or the ability of Chinese consumers to use the internet.
All Apple cares about is money, and they don’t want the bad will of the Chinese government to jeopardize one of the world’s largest market share. It would cost them a lot of money to challenge China when other Chinese based companies are happy to comply.
In China, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and countless other websites are blocked so China can restrict the flow of information in the country, as well as out. By using TorGuard VPN in China with Stealth VPN, Stealth Proxy, and Stunnel, you can access content on the internet unblocked to prevent censorship and retain internet freedom without being detected.