China orders Apple to remove WhatsApp, Threads, other apps in censorship move: report

19.04.24 21:36 Uhr

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Apple has removed popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal from its iPhone app store in China after the Chinese government ordered the company to do so, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday."We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree," an Apple spokesperson told the Journal, confirming Chinese officials demanded the tech giant scrub a number of apps over national security concerns.Citing a person familiar, the Journal reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China asked Apple to remove Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store "because both contain political content that includes problematic mentions of the Chinese president," but the Apple spokesperson denied that was part of the reasoning.SAMSUNG OVERTAKES APPLE FOR TOP PHONEMAKER SPOT: REPORTThe Chinese Communist Party (CCP) keeps tight controls on what the nation's citizens are exposed to and suppresses political speech critical of the regime. Beijing has passed legislation and regulations to include specifications on what kinds of content should be prohibited online and bars pro-democracy media.China's demand that Apple remove the apps suggests growing intolerance on the part of China's central government towards at least some foreign online messaging services that fall outside its control. It also signals less leeway for Apple in China, its largest overseas market.AMERICANS SHOULD ‘ABSOLUTELY BE CONCERNED’ ABOUT DATA COLLECTION, SPYING FROM CHINESE EVS: AUTO EXPERTThe move comes as the Senate prepares to take up a bill passed by the House last month that could see popular social media app TikTok banned in U.S. app stores if its China-based parent company, Bytedance, does not divest from it within 165 days of passage. It would also require the platform to be bought by a country that is not a U.S. adversary.According to Reuters, other Meta apps including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger remained available for download in China as of Friday, along with other popular apps developed by Western companies, including Google-owned YouTube and Elon Musk's X.GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HEREFOX Business' Elizabeth Elkin and Reuters contributed to this report.Weiter zum vollständigen Artikel bei FOX Business

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