It was reported last week that China was clamping down on users who rely on virtual private networks (VPN) to break free of its notorious internet filter. Apple Inc. has now removed some virtual private network applications from its stores in China, a move that could block users ability to bypass a local web firewall and access overseas sites.
“We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations,” Carolyn Wu, Apple’s China spokeswoman told Bloomberg in an emailed response, referring to rules issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology earlier this year that asks all developers offering VPNs to obtain a government license.
Wu said the VPN apps remain available in all other markets where Apple does business.
China’s MIIT didn’t immediately respond to a Bloomberg’s fax seeking comment on the issue out of business hours.