Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law

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Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been "temporarily removed" from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times.

Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.

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. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.

Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app.

Skype is the latest victim of China's strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Microsoft wouldn't comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google's services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
33 months ago

Are you suggesting Apple should break the law in China? Stop doing business in China? I mean, I see the rhetoric. I just don't know what it means or what solution you're proposing.

No the lack of a fight put up, is what concerns me. Even a theatrical fight or some snarky comments about how it’s the wrong decision for China to enforce but ...

Cook can criticize the president of US but doesn’t even argue with China.

Just something to think about

I’m not gonna chime in much in this thread I’m in like every pol one (of my own will)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

Apple doesn’t even put up a fight. This is resistance Apple, isn’t it?

No vpn? Fine
No skype? Fine

Makes you wonder how much of a fight they put up on the backend for users privacy here in the US, something Tim Cook loves to boast about as a brand differentiator

I think it’s time for a new person to run Apple

Tim is the swamp

Are you suggesting Apple should break the law in China? Stop doing business in China? I mean, I see the rhetoric. I just don't know what it means or what solution you're proposing.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
Apple doesn’t even put up a fight. This is resistance Apple, isn’t it?

No vpn? Fine
No skype? Fine

Makes you wonder how much of a fight they put up on the backend for users privacy here in the US, something Tim Cook loves to boast about as a brand differentiator

I think it’s time for a new person to run Apple

Tim is the swamp
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
Apple (and other companies) are so powerless in China. They comply to every draconian request from the government. And the consumers there are slowly being left with neutered hardware. Eventually the Chinese government will just ask for the source code. I wonder how far this goes. Will China stop companies from manufacturing there if companies start to pull their products from the market?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago

Apple doesn’t even put up a fight. This is resistance Apple, isn’t it?

No vpn? Fine
No skype? Fine

Makes you wonder how much of a fight they put up on the backend for users privacy here in the US, something Tim Cook loves to boast about as a brand differentiator

I think it’s time for a new person to run Apple

Tim is the swamp

Oh please. Apple (and the US, and that includes yourself and me) are in absolutely no position to dictate to another nation how they should run their country or set their laws. What's next? Complain that we don't listen to the guys who run Iran regarding our broadcast standards? And exactly who would run Apple and would magically have authority over any other country?

Let's be honest - the US isn't the world's overlord and we're guilty of many many of our own abuses right here at home as well as many questionable things we've done abroad. Want to see "the swamp?" It's in every American mirror because we've never demanded anything differently because it was "keeping us safe," "manifest destiny" or any other number of catchphrases that we used to excuse our actions.
[doublepost=1511279099][/doublepost]



Cook can criticize the president of US but doesn’t even argue with China.

That's because Cook is an American citizen and that's kind of part of Americans' civic duty. That doesn't mean we have the right to demand squat from any other nation or its leaders.
[doublepost=1511279196][/doublepost]

China. The only country which can break end to end encryption. By pointing the Renminbi gun to Timmy's head.

The app isn't on the store. They didn't break the encryption. Major fundamental difference. That's like saying since the US doesn't nationally allow people to smoke pot, somehow it's lost its effects in Amsterdam and people can't get high there.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
33 months ago
What about iMessages and FaceTime then? Do they… comply with the Ministry of Public Security regulations?

Given all this anti-encryption frenzy in China (I was present there when WhatsApp suddenly stopped working in the end of September) I am wondering how supposedly end-to-end encrypted iMessages are still allowed.
[doublepost=1511273381][/doublepost]

Apple (and other companies) are so powerless in China. They comply to every draconian request from the government. And the consumers there are slowly being left with neutered hardware. Eventually the Chinese government will just ask for the source code. I wonder how far this goes. Will China stop companies from manufacturing there if companies start to pull their products from the market?

Because those requests have a sound legal basis in that country. There are laws that say that pretty much every entity (a person or a company) has to comply with security services and facilitate intelligence gathering as per their request.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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