Apple has pulled Microsoft’s Skype from its China App Store. Regarding the matter, the tech giant tells The New York Times:
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.
Not surprisingly, the Times notes that Chinese users are not happy. Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, still functions in China, and its fate in the country isn’t clear. And Apple will certainly be criticized for the move.
This summer the tech giant removed all major VPN (Virtual Private Networks) apps from its local App store, which helps users overcome the country's "Great Firewall.” Service providers slammed the move, calling it a "dangerous precedent.”
VPNs are the most common way to bypass China’s Great Firewall, which blocks multiple global websites, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, or news sites like The New York Times. U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy wrote to CEO Tim Cook about the removal of virtual private network (VPN) apps from the China App Store. The senators want to know if Apple pushed back hard enough against the Chinese government or if the company helped the government with its Internet crackdown.