Earlier this year, Apple pulled VPN apps from its App Store in China in order to comply with local laws and regulations. Now it looks like Apple is once again pulling apps from the App Store, and this time it includes certain phone and messaging apps, which includes Microsoft’s Skype.
In a statement made by an Apple spokesperson, “We 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.” However while the app is no longer available for download, at least via Apple’s App Store, it is still functional, although we can’t say for sure if China plans to block its access completely as well.
The spokesperson also adds, “These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.” Note that Apple’s App Store isn’t the only store that Skype has been pulled from as the report from the New York Times notes that the app has been taken down from other app stores that distributes the app as well.
Microsoft has confirmed the removal but apparently this is only “temporary”, and that they are working to have it reinstated as soon as possible. That being said, this removal will probably see Apple questioned once again. When the company removed VPN apps from its App Store in China, US Senators questioned Apple’s decision, suggesting that this could be seen as Apple enabling China’s censorship of the internet.