Apple's decision to succumb to China's pressure and take down VPN providers from the country's App Store follows the company's move in announcing its first data center in China in the southwestern province of Guizhou, also to comply with a regulation for foreign firms to store a bigger portion of their data within the country.
China appears to have received help Saturday (July 29) from an unlikely source in its fight against tools that help users evade its Great Firewall of Internet censorship: Apple.
Leonid Levin, head of Duma's information policy committee, said the law is not intended to impose restrictions on law-abiding citizens but is meant only to block access to "unlawful content", Russia's RIA news agency reported. Our preliminary research indicates that all major VPN apps for iOS have been removed.
The Internet is completely in control of the government and more regulation is put in place before Communist Party congress that would be held in August.
ExpressVPN wrote on its blog that they are disappointed with the new measures the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPN's.More news: Niantic Faces Lawsuit After Pokemon Go Fest Disappoints Fans
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Earlier this week, China tightened its grip over messaging service in the country, as many WhatsApp users have been unable to continue to send or receive images, videos or even text messages.
"We view access to Internet in China as a human rights issue, and I would expect Apple to value human rights over profits", Yokubaitis said. Multiple apps belonging to the New York Times were removed from the store last December.
Coincidence or not, Apple has been seriously implementing various aspects of Chinese law for its regional operations in recent months.
However, the notification did say that ExpressVPN would be available in other territories except for China.
China has hundreds of millions of smartphone users and is a vital market for Apple, whose iPhones are wildly popular in the country.
Internet providers in Russian Federation will also be required to block access to VPNs and proxies under the new law.