./uploads/advanced-cache.php Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from its Chinese App Store after Beijing’s orders

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Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from its Chinese App Store after Beijing’s orders


American multinational tech giant Apple has taken down Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China. The move follows orders from Chinese authorities, citing unspecified national security concerns.

Apple, in its official statement, informed that the Cyberspace Administration of China ordered to pull down these apps. The iPhone maker emphasized its compliance with local laws, even in cases of disagreement. Alongside WhatsApp and Threads, Telegram and Signal are two other foreign messaging platforms that were pulled from the Apple App Store on the same day, according to a Reuters report that cited news from app tracking firms Qimai and AppMagic.

Meta’s other applications, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, remain accessible for download. Meanwhile, this is not the first instance where Chinese regulators have asked the Tim Cook-led company to remove certain applications. In the past, Apple has complied with Chinese authorities’ directives to remove apps, such as The New York Times in 2017 and ChatGPT-like apps in 2023.

These actions often stem from the Chinese government’s stringent regulations and concerns about data privacy and control. Removing these apps could be seen as Apple complying with local laws and regulations, even if it raises concerns about censorship and access to information. Although neither WhatsApp nor Threads boasted significant user bases in China, where Tencent’s WeChat dominates the messaging landscape, their removal reflects broader regulatory trends.

Elsewhere, the move further underscores the ongoing tensions between China and the United States on matters relating to trade, technology and national security. Tensions between the two nations stem from a bunch of reasons; from trade disputes to technology competition to human rights concerns to military rivalry to ideological differences to COVID-19 blame games, and issues surrounding Taiwan. These factors contribute to a complex relationship characterized by competition, mistrust, and strategic rivalry between two major world economies.

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