Apple has removed from its Chinese app store apps that enable users to bypass China’s “Great Firewall,” in a move that makers have condemned as “censorship.” The Silicon Valley company has withdrawn “virtual private network” apps from the store, as it pulls all apps that do not comply with local law, even if the makers are based outside the country. Virtual private networks allow users to access content banned by Chinese censors to control access to information online. This has, in effect, created a “Chinese internet,” without many western social media or search engine sites. ExpressVPN posted a letter it had received from Apple online, notifying the company that its app had been removed from the Chinese app store “because it includes content that is illegal in China.” The company, which describes itself as a “digital rights advocate,” said it was “dismayed” that Apple had decided to “side with censorship,” the Financial Times reports.
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