Apple Removes WhatsApp and Telegram from App Store

What you should know


  • The Cyberspace Administration of China has forced Apple to remove encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, Threads, Telegram, and Signal from the App Store due to discussions that were critical of the Chinese President.
  • Apple claims it is obligated to follow the laws in the countries where it operates, even if it disagrees with those laws, as a reason for complying with the removal of certain apps from its App Store in China.
  • The Cyberspace Administration of China acts as a regulatory body to monitor and control discussions that could lead to criticism of the government or organize protests, impacting the availability of various messaging apps.
  • China now requires app developers to register with a censorship authority for their apps to be reviewed and possibly allowed on app stores operating in China, leading to over 14,000 apps being blacklisted from direct access in the country.


Full Story

Oh, the Cyberspace Administration of China, that big, looming watchdog of the digital realm, has put its foot down again. This time, it’s Apple caught in the crosshairs, forced to yank a slew of encrypted messaging apps right off the App Store shelf. We’re talking big names here: Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads, not to mention Telegram and Signal. Poof, gone. According to whispers to the Wall Street Journal, it’s all because some folks were chatting a bit too freely about China’s President. Not in a good way, mind you.

Apple’s playing it cool, though. They’re like, “Nope, that’s not it,” but also, “Hey, we’ve gotta play by the rules, even if we’re not exactly thrilled about it.” Classic Apple, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The Cyberspace Administration isn’t messing around. They’ve got their eyes peeled for any hint of dissent or, heaven forbid, organizing and protesting within the vast Chinese blogosphere. It’s like they’re on a never-ending scavenger hunt for trouble.

Before this whole mess, getting your hands on WhatsApp or Threads in China was a bit of a mission. You needed a VPN, and even that’s turning into a bit of a headache now. And let’s not even start on the likes of Instagram, X, Facebook, YouTube, or WhatsApp. Despite the hurdles, these platforms have been downloaded a staggering 170 million times over the past decade or so in China. People crave that peek at the outside world, hungry for a taste of different viewpoints on the day’s burning issues.

But now, China’s tightening the screws even more. They want app developers to come knocking on the censorship authority’s door, asking pretty please to let their apps into the Chinese app stores, iPhone’s included. Apple’s raised an eyebrow, voiced some concerns, but at the end of the day, they’ve been told to suck it up and deal. Now, there are over 14,000 apps on China’s no-fly list.

These encrypted chat apps, they’ve been a bit of a thorn in the government’s side, not gonna lie. Take that lone protester on a Beijing bridge, shouting into the void about pandemic restrictions. Telegram got the scoop, and suddenly, it’s the world’s go-to for those looking to push back against the system. And yep, you guessed it, Telegram’s caught up in the latest App Store purge in China too.

Switching gears, let’s talk about Daniel. This guy’s been knee-deep in the tech world since 2010, thanks to his gig at PhoneArena. He’s seen it all, from the days of Windows Mobile to the dawn of 5G. Daniel’s not just about the gadgets and gizmos, though. He’s got a keen eye on what’s next, especially when it comes to digital health, car connectivity, and the big, broad future of tech.

But Daniel’s not all work and no play. Nope, he’s got a life outside the digital vortex. Travel, reading, diving into the latest tech marvels, all while pondering the big questions about privacy and ethics in our increasingly online world. Sounds like a pretty balanced dude, right?

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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