Two days ago, most VPN software applications in China’s App Store were removed by the Cupertino-based tech giant Apple. The VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and Star VPN had received letters from Apple notifying them for their removal from the store.
The two companies have done an in-depth research, which has shown that all VPN applications have been removed from the Chinese App Store.
A company’s spokesman reveals part of the letter which states that the application has been removed due to content that is illegal in China, which is not in compliance with the Apple Store’s Terms of Service.
ExpressVPN condemns the measures taken by the Chinese government as they threaten one of the most important human rights – the freedom of speech. However, the VPN services of the company are still available for other countries.
We contacted an Apple’s representative to clarify their actions. According to him, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China requires all companies that offer VPN services to obtain an exclusive license from the government. That’s why all applications that don’t meet this fundamental requirement were deleted.
The Chinese government is trying to control the flow of information on the information even more than before. In fact, the Chinese censorship policies received the nickname the Great Firewall. These policies will not only impact the biggest iOS app market in the world but the citizen’s privacy as well.
A day later, Russia decided to take measures as well banning all VPN services. The Russian President Vladimir Putin banned all technology that allows access to websites banned in the country.
This isn’t something unexpected as Putin passed a law in 2014 that required all internet companies to store information of users on Russian servers. An act that shocked most Russian internet users as their access could be censored by the government.
Even though that government officials stated that the new law is against illegal content, protesters got out on the streets of Moscow to fight the new internet policies.