) — China‘s laying down the law on Skype
The video calling app has been yanked from Apple‘s App Store in China, as have been several other voice over internet protocol (VoIP) products.
“We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of VoIP apps do not comply with local law, therefore these apps have been removed from the App Store in China. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business,“ said Apple in a statement published on Wednesday.
The massively popular video chat platform has also been removed from other major third-arty app providers, such as the virtual stores ran by Chinese phone makers Xiaomi and Huawei. The news was first reported by The New York Times.
The Microsoft-owned (MSFT) Skype is one of a select few internet communication services that are allowed to operate in China while being ran from the Western hemisphere. While Skype video chats and calls are still operational in China, users have been voicing their discontent about not being able to recharge their account credit or upgrading the app for over a month.
Microsoft confirmed the removal form the chinese app store in a statement.
“We are working to reinstate the app as soon as possible,“ the company said.
The so-called chinese “Great Firewall“ keeps several other foreign tech and internet companies locked out of China‘s market. The Firewall consists of a huge apparatus of internet filters used to block content the government deems inappropriate. Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Google (GOOG) have been inaccessible in the asian country for years now – as are many important foreign news outlets.