Tim Cook thinks apps removed from the China Apple App Store will be reinstated

CEO Tim Cook says he expects the apps removed from the China App Store earlier this year will be reinstated. The tech giant was criticised for pulling virtual private network and messaging apps from the Chinese store due to pressure from the country’s regulators.

Cook made his comments while peaking at the Fortune Forum in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. He also says he believes strongly in freedom, apparently replying to comments after U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said on Tuesday that Apple had a moral obligation to promote free expression.

  Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the opening ceremony of the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the opening ceremony of the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

This summer Apple 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.