Tags: skype | app store | china | removed

Skype Removed From App Stores in China

Skype Removed From App Stores in China
(Natalia Seliverstova/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 12:33 PM

The Skype video chat program is currently banned in app stores operating in China because its encryption properties violate the law there.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Chinese government ordered the program removed from several popular app stores, including those run by Apple and Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi.

Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, still functions in China, but users can no longer pay for its services or download it to their smartphones and computers.

"We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore, these apps have been removed from the app store in China," an Apple spokeswoman told the Times. "These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business."

The app was removed sometime in late October, the Times noted.

China tries to keep a tight hold on the flow of information within its borders, which has resulted in several apps and online services being blocked. That list includes Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Gmail, which use encryption to protect their users' data.

WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook, is also banned from the country.

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., sent a letter to Apple last month asking why the company cut off access to some apps in China.

"If these reports are true, we are concerned that Apple may be enabling the Chinese government's censorship and surveillance of the internet," Cruz and Leahy wrote.

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The Skype video chat program is currently banned in app stores operating in China because its encryption properties violate the law there.
skype, app store, china, removed
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2017-33-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 12:33 PM
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