Saturday, May 18, 2024

National Security:  China orders Apple to remove WhatsApp, Threads from App Store

Apple said it was obliged to obey laws in the countries where we operate, even when it disagreed.

• April 22, 2024
a composite of WhatsApp and Threads logo
a composite of WhatsApp and Threads logo(logowik)

Mobile technology manufacturer, Apple, has been forced to remove Meta apps WhatsApp and the text-sharing app Threads social network from its App Store in China due to compliance with a decision by Chinese authorities.

“The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns,” Apple said in a statement on Sunday.

According to VOA, the apps were removed from the Apple Store on Friday over unspecified national security concerns expressed by Chinese authorities amid tensions between China and the United States over technology and national security. 

The latest move in China comes in the wake of a legislature passed by the United States House that would see short video sharing app TikTok banned in the country if the China-based owner, ByteDance, doesn’t sell its stake within a year.

The U.S. government expressed concerns over the threat of a Chinese company handling the data of millions of Americans which could potentially be used by Chinese authorities at will.

Meanwhile, other Meta apps including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger are available to be downloaded on Apple Store but the use of foreign apps is limited in China because of its “Great Firewall.”

“We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree,” Apple added.

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