Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from Chinese app store

Shivani Arora

China is trying to close loopholes in the country’s internet firewall. The Chinese government has ordered the Apple inc. to remove it’s apps from Chinese Store.

Apple removed WhatsApp and Threads from its Chinese Store as per the orders of Beijing.

Beijing has asked Apple to do this as per their National Concern. With WhatsApp and Threads the country has also asked Apple to remove Signal and Telegram according to the consultants tracking the space.

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It was not immediately clear how WhatsApp or Threads might have caused security concerns for 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 an emailed statement.

The US has threatened to ban TikTok over national security concerns. But while TikTok, owned by Chinese technology firm ByteDance, is used by millions in the US, WhatsApp and Threads are not commonly used in China. Instead, the messaging app WeChat, owned by Chinese company Tencent, reigns supreme.

Other Meta apps, including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, remained available for download, although use of such foreign apps is blocked in China due to its “Great Firewall” network of filters that restrict use of foreign websites such as Google and Facebook.

A person briefed on the situation said the Chinese govt had found content on WhatsApp and Threads about President Xi Jinping, that was inflammatory and violated the country’s cybersecurity laws. The specifics of what was in the content was unclear, the person said.

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I am Shivani Arora, a media student who is working as a freelancer Content Writer, news writer and social media handler with different agencies. I am a post graduate student who is self motivated and a hardworking person. My main aim is to excel in my career by learning and exploring new things.
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