In sad news for web users in China, Apple has this week started removing all VPN apps from the Chinese App Store.
As the Chinese government continues its crackdown on the internet, VPN apps are become less and less welcome, as they help users to circumnavigate the censorship in the country. As a result, Apple has been forced to remove these apps from the App Store, as they now violate Chinese law.
New rules, issued in January, required apps to receive government approval in order to be legally sold in China. Of course, for apps that would help users get around China’s Great Firewall, gaining such approval is next to impossible. Even high-end hotels have been forced to stop offering VPN services to guests from abroad.
As a result of this, SurfEasy is no longer available to users in China if they attempt to download it via the App Store.
However, users outside of China will still be able to download SurfEasy and use the app as they travel into the country.
This latest news is upsetting for privacy advocates, but it’s also understandable; Apple is trying to support all their users and keep them safe and abiding by the laws of the countries they service.
Of course, for web users in China, this represents another huge threat to internet freedom and freedom of information. The fight for privacy for users in China continues.