Once again the China shows its power to the mobile app world and the rest of the world by taking down all VPN (Virtual Private Network Services) in the country. On the command of the Chinese government, Apple has removed all the VPN apps from the App Store in China.
The ExpressVPN is among the service providing app that faces the wrath of the joint action by the China and the Apple first. The company shared the information through its blog post by saying that the Apple had been purging out the apps from the App Store. The company also shared the message, it received from the Apple saying that their app has been deleted from the App Store as it was violating the Chinese content laws.
Another app, Star VPN was also removed from the App Store in the name of 'illegal content' as per Chinese government laws. The company tweeted about the purge of Apple and removal of their app from China based App Store. However, all the VPN apps are available across the rest of the world and can be accessed by the users other than from China.
— Star VPN (@star_vpn) July 29, 2017
VPN is the only way for the inhabitants of China to connect the rest of the world via the internet. These VPN apps let the user bypass the security or firewall maintained by the Chinese government to restrict the users from connecting to the foreign sites. The VPN also allows the users to hide their browser activities from the Internet service provider. China blocked almost 167 domains out of 1000 top domains around the world according to a firm that monitors the censorship actions of the government in the country. The restricted domains include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google among the others.
This action from the government is making a huge impact across the globe as its the only way for the Chinese internet users to bypass the state-censorship controls. The Chinese government immediately implemented the law saying that VPN service is illegal in China, which is introduced in January and in order to operate they need to have the government approval first. This legal allegation from the government forced the Apple to remove all the apps that are providing VPN services to the Chinese users.
The Golden Frog and ExpressVPN services are still effective in the China despite the removal of the apps from the App Store. The users can still access the foreign sites using the services from the apps on the other platforms, including windows, Android, Mac and others too.
Apple recently showed its effort to uplift its market in China by appointing Isabel Ge Mahe as the new Vice President and Managing Director for the Chinese Market. Along with this, the company is also setting up its first Data Center in the country with the partnership of a local company in order to meet the laws.
After the deletion of the app from the App Market, the ExpressVPN said “ it was "disappointed" with Apple's decision. It "represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China's censorship efforts”.
The Chinese government had denied a report from the Bloomberg reporting that the most of the mobile operators which include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicorn have been told to ban the VPN apps by the start of 2018.