Recently it was reported that Apple had removed unlicensed VPNs from its App Store in China without saying why. It was speculated at that time it had to do with them complying with local laws, and a recent statement issued by the company pretty much confirms it. According to Apple, “Earlier this year China’s MIIT announced that all developers offering VPNs must obtain a license from the government. We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.”
While VPNs are allowed in China, they need to be licensed by the government, which depending on the reason why you need to use a VPN, kind of defeats the purpose, especially if users want to use it to circumvent the government’s censorship and blocking of certain websites and services.
The removal of the apps in the iTunes App Store now means that the average user will have a harder time trying to find a VPN to use. It’s not entirely impossible to find another solution, but we guess it will just be less accessible now.