App Stores Forced to Remove Skype in China

Skype pulled from app stores in China

Skype pulled from app stores in China

It has been revealed that the app has disappeared from various sites where the Chinese used to download the app. At the same time, the app has disappeared from the Apple's app store.

Microsoft's spokesperson mentioned that Skype has been removed temporarily from the Apple's App Store in China and the software giant is working on restoring the app as soon as they possibly could.

Skype has apparently joined the lengthening list of internet tools on China's blacklist, disappearing from download stores with Apple saying on Wednesday it was ordered by the government to remove certain apps.

How Skype has managed to survive in China remains a mystery. Leahy responded by calling for Apple to push back against Chinese "suppression of free expression". Unlike in those cases, though, the Skype ban doesn't appear to be related to attempts to stifle dissent during the Communist Party's National Congress. The app started disappearing after the meeting ended - this appears to be a general policy implementation rather than an event-specific response. Once the apps were removed, a host of Chinese customers complained about the unavailability.

The authorities said such actions are designed to protect personal privacy and prevent online terrorist activity.

In recent years, Beijing has pursued a series of laws and regulations that have raised concerns from foreign companies trying to expand their user base across the country.

Slashing social networking websites in the country is done perhaps to make surveillance of civilians an easier task.

Chinese netizens on Tuesday evening took to Weibo to discuss Skype's disappearance, which many criticized for being overly restrictive, despite the existence of local alternatives. This together with the new internet laws that require the use of real-name identification for every account means it is infringing the law. Earlier this year, WhatsApp was blocked, while Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram, and Line have faced similar fates. Apple itself has come under fire, as critics accuse the world's largest company of aiding and abetting censorship.

Slamming the door on foreign tech leaders has allowed Chinese champions like Tencent to prosper in the vacuum.

Tougher cybersecurity laws are part of the reason.

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