Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store in China

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After the Chinese government’s intervention, Apple has recently removed Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in the country. Well, it isn’t something new, or haven’t heard of. Previously, the Cupertino giant had to remove multiple apps from the Chinese App Store. However, it is the first instance where Apple de-listed two major social media apps.

The Chinese government ordered Apple to remove messaging apps like WhatsApp, Threads, and more

While China provides no concrete statement on the matter, a concerned person has briefed the possible reason behind the same. Apparently, Chinese officials found a few ‘inflammatory’ content on WhatsApp and Threads related to the country’s president, Xi Jinping.

Although it’s still unclear what exactly was there in the content that made the official take such a decision. But, whatever it was, it is said to have violated China’s cybersecurity laws. They believed the apps posed some sort of national security concern. The Wall Street Journal in its recent report mentions that Apple had to oblige with the Chinese government directives even if “it disagrees.”

In addition, China has also directed Apple to remove many other global messaging apps. This includes the popular US-based and Dubai-based chat apps Signal and Telegram, respectively.

Apple never had a choice to oppose the removal of WhatsApp and Threads given that its entire supply chain of iPhone could take a big toll if it chooses that path.  Although the company has set up several manufacturing plants across the globe, it could take years for it to match the supply it gets from China.

China’s move to remove WhatsApp and Telegram is another effort to ensure what citizens can see online. The recent action has sparked the fire yet again to the ongoing tech war between the US and China. Let’s not forget that this could be China’s other way of replying to the US government’s decision to sanction Chinese semiconductor firms.