In bad news for Chinese internet users - or at least the ones who want to access the likes of Facebook, Google and Instagram - Apple has pulled as many as 60 Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers from its China App Store.
The VPNs, which allow internet users to access servers outside of China in order to view websites and content banned by Chinese censors, were removed because they do not comply with new regulations, Apple said.
Earlier this year, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that all VPN developers must obtain a license from the government. While dozens of approved VPNs are still available on the China App Store, according to Apple, those that are not approved have been removed.
However, the banned apps are still available in apps stores outside of China, providing savvy internet users in the Middle Kingdom with a workaround.
Apple is no doubt keen to stay on the right side of the Chinese government as it makes much of its hardware in the country and Chinese people are big buyers of Apple products. Last month, Apple also opened its first data center in China with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry.
In 2014, 240 million Chinese were victims of cybercrime and lost a total of over 700 billion Yuan.
The year just gone was packed with happenings, big and small, in China. Some were good, but a whole lot were bad. Let’s have a look at China’s big news events of 2017.
The Chinese website of Marriott International has been shut down and an employee sacked after two incidences of the hotel chain “disrespecting China’s sovereignty”.
Good news for non-Chinese readers who get lost easily. Google Maps are available in China again!
International tourists transiting through Beijing can now enjoy visa-free stopovers of up to six days.
US coffee giants Starbucks is opening a new store in China every 15 hours.
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