China has ordered removal of popular communications application Skype and other similar calling apps from US tech giant Apple’s app store in China and other platforms.
Apple said in a statement, “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps do not comply with local law therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China.”
Skype owner Microsoft told the BBC the app had been “temporarily removed” and the company was “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible”. The app is also no longer available for download on Android app stores in China.
Other smartphone app stores, including those of Chinese companies, Xiaomi and Huawei, have also stopped offering Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol apps.
The measure is another blow by the Cyberspace Administration of China to the operation of foreign companies, particularly Internet companies in the country, where Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are all blocked.