Apple removes Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads apps from China store

Many of the world's most widely used social media and messaging apps are blocked in mainland China.

1 min read

American tech company Apple has removed Meta’s messaging and social media apps WhatsApp and Threads from its local app store in the country, in compliance with Chinese internet regulations and access bans.

A search of China’s mobile app store in the Chinese market has failed to find the American company Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads apps.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Chinese authorities had ordered Apple to remove two apps for “national security” reasons.

“We have to comply with the laws of the countries in which we operate, even if we don’t agree with them,” Apple officials told the newspaper.

Bloomberg had previously reported that social messaging apps Telegram and Signal were also removed from Apple’s China store.

These social media apps are already blocked in mainland China, but users can gain exceptional access through VPN services.

The latest internet regulation in China requires all mobile apps to have a local license and provide services from a local server with a domain name registered on the mainland.

Companies that will provide app services in China are expected to obtain an “Internet Information Provider” license, as well as comply with the country’s censorship policy and data transfer rules and standards.


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