It was recently reported that China was going to tighten its ban on VPN services which would more or less make it impossible for internet users in the country to bypass restrictions placed by the government. Though the government later issued a clarification in that regard, it still appeared that China would make it more difficult to rely on VPNs. According to a new report, almost all major VPN apps on the App Store in China have been removed by Apple.
ExpressVPN, a provider that’s based outside China, notes that all major VPN apps have been removed from Apple’s China-based App Store. The company’s own VPN app is no longer available for iOS users in the People’s Republic.
The VPN provider mentions that the explanation it received from Apple regarding this was that the company had removed the ExpressVPN app because it “includes content that is illegal in China.”
Just because these apps have been removed from the App Store in China doesn’t mean they won’t be available for users elsewhere. ExpressVPN, and all other major VPN apps, continue to be available for iOS users across the world.
VPN providers are now required to have approval from Beijing before they can provide their services to users in the country. Apple seems to have purged apps of those VPN providers that don’t have the necessary approvals from Beijing.