Apple’s Surprise Move: WhatsApp Expelled from China

Apple Removes WhatsApp and Threads from China App Store

Apple took down WhatsApp and Threads from its China app store due to government orders. This move could worsen the tech conflict between the US and China. 

China’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration, ordered their removal over national security worries. Apple obeyed, stating they must follow local laws, even if they disagree.

The Chinese government discovered content on WhatsApp and Threads criticizing President Xi Jinping. This violated cybersecurity laws, but the specifics remain unclear. 

Meta, the owner of WhatsApp and Threads, directed inquiries to Apple. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Apple’s action.

Apple removed some global messaging apps from its China App Store, like Signal and Telegram, on Friday. Signal is from the United States, and Telegram is from Dubai. Appfigures, a market research company, shared this information. Signal didn’t say anything immediately, and Telegram didn’t respond when asked for comment.

Tech Tussle Between US and China

Apple and Meta are having a big fight over tech stuff in the US and China. Lawmakers in the US are getting ready to vote on a law that could make a Chinese company sell TikTok or ban it in the US. They think TikTok is risky because it’s connected to China. China doesn’t like this idea.

The White House is also trying to stop China from getting high-tech stuff for war. They’re making it harder for China to use American money to develop these things. China is hitting back by stopping American chip companies from selling in China.

China has always blocked American websites like Facebook. They use something called the Great Firewall. Some apps like WhatsApp and Threads were allowed, but not many people in China used them. They preferred Chinese apps like WeChat.

Chinese users could still get WhatsApp using a special tool called a VPN. It helps them see things online that China blocks.

Apple’s Presence in China

Since 2017, 15 million iPhones in China have WhatsApp, while Threads only got 470,000 downloads.

Apple, a big company, sells lots of iPhones in China. They made over $68 billion there last year, which is a lot.

China and the United States don’t always get along. Apple has to do what China says, like blocking some apps. They even put a special place in China for people’s iCloud stuff.

Because of problems between the two countries, Apple is making iPhones and other stuff in different places, like India and Vietnam.

Tim Cook, the boss of Apple, is in Asia right now. He’s talking to people about making more stuff there.

Corporate Tensions and Political Moves

Meta and Apple don’t get along well. Apple’s rules make it hard for Meta to track users. Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s boss, doesn’t like Apple’s strict privacy rules.

In the US, politicians are getting tougher on TikTok. They want ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, to sell the app. The House of Representatives will vote soon. If it is approved, it will be forwarded to the Senate. President Biden will sign it if it gets to him.

Also Read: Complete House Moves: New TikTok Bill With Affordable Aid

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