WhatsApp & Threads pulled from Apple App Store in China

Posted:
in iOS

Apple has removed Meta-owned apps WhatsApp and Threads from the China App Store after government officials claimed national security concerns.

A Chinese flag and App Store icon
China dictates what it allows on its country's internet and App Store



The App Store culling continues in China after 30,000 games, then an additional 94,000 games, 44,000 apps, then 100 ChatGPT-like apps were removed over the past four years. The government in China is the driving force behind these app removals, but a more significant App Store removal took place on Thursday night.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple was given orders by the government in China to remove WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store. China's cyberspace officials claim the apps needed to be removed based on national security concerns.

It isn't a big secret that China wants incredible control over information available online to its citizens. The country is notorious for applying rules in the name of security to censor unwanted information and technologies.

Apple has little choice in the matter as the company must comply with local laws even when they contradict the company's core values. Otherwise, Apple could face significant problems with its supply chain and a significant portion of its market if it is forced out of China.

Facebook has been blocked from use in China since at least 2009. The Meta-owned Threads launched in the country in 2023 and has been available since, but WhatsApp has seemingly been blocked from use since at least 2017.

With the apps pulled from the App Store, users will no longer be able to download Threads or WhatsApp. That means there isn't an easy way to access these apps, even with a VPN.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 759member
    But by all means let’s continue to allow ByteDance, Temu and SHEIN continue to make money hand over fist in the US App Store and collect all the data they want. 
    edited April 18 byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.
    gatorguyOferwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
     Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do”
    Isn’t that the Apple, headed by the principle person that became embedded by Xi via his Board Chairmanship of Tsinghua Business University to be slightly less principle when it comes to Chinese policies ?
    byronl
  • Reply 4 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,984member
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    watto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 5 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 
    watto_cobraJapheygatorguytmay
  • Reply 6 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,984member
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    edited April 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    leighrleighr Posts: 255member
    China claiming national security concerns with apps.  :D
    edited April 20 williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker
    williamlondongatorguytmay
  • Reply 9 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,984member
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker

    The EU dictates the law and you must follow now but you can appeal good luck, in China they dictate the law and you must follow with no appeal, in the USA congress passes a law but you can appeal/sue right away and possibly get a stay and have your day in court. I know which system I prefer maybe that's a part of the reason the UK left the EU. Most of the bigger English speaking countries would have trouble in time with the EU overlords.
    edited April 20 williamlondondewmetmay
  • Reply 10 of 18
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,769member
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker

    The EU dictates the law and you must follow now but you can appeal good luck, in China they dictate the law and you must follow with no appeal, in the USA congress passes a law but you can appeal/sue right away and possibly get a stay and have your day in court. I know which system I prefer maybe that's a part of the reason the UK left the EU. Most of the bigger English speaking countries would have trouble in time with the EU overlords.
    I'm British and can't think of any valid future Prime Ministers to vote for! Give me an EU 'overlord' any day!

    And now I can vote again so I have a real dilemma. Ironically, and because of Brexit I have lost my EU vote. 
    blastdoorAlex_V
  • Reply 11 of 18
    FaceBook Inc = FBI  if the Chinese government doesn't trust and banned Facebook then why should it trust Meta-owned Threads and WhatsApp ?  As per Edward Snowden's revelations you can ABSOLUTELY BET YOUR PRIVACY AND FREEDOM that the American NSA and CIA has it's fingers in Facebook/Threads/WhatsApp database that analyzes users and links all their friends and families into one convenient FISO warrant accessed database.
    appleexpat
  • Reply 12 of 18
    The Author wrote this and this sums it up right there "China dictates what it allows on its country's internet and App Store". US was pushing to have TikTok banned and banned all Huawei devices from the US and pushed other countries to not allow them to be used or sold either 🙄 It's more like the US dictates what it allows on the country's internet and App Store so China follows suit.. Let's not forget the US dictating to other countries whether or not they can do business with China as well and sell them products that they make.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker
    In the US we also have a leadership focused on squashing dissent and it's called AIPAC 😉 The dots are always connected. All you have to do is look at the names, connections and supporters. Wherever there is a problem or issue the same culprits are always there. All you have to do is look into who drafted this bill up and whom their supporters and backers are. Tell ya one thing, not the Chinese,Russians, Iranians, or Arabs  ;)
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/US-Senate-posed-to-pass-TikTok-ban-stuffed-into-Taiwan-Ukraine-and-Israel-support-package-as-early-as-Tuesday.829844.0.html
  • Reply 14 of 18
    igorsky said:
    But by all means let’s continue to allow ByteDance, Temu and SHEIN continue to make money hand over fist in the US App Store and collect all the data they want. 
    You must be thinking of the SWIFT banking where the US forces all bank wires to transfer via the US to collect all the data they want  :)
  • Reply 15 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker
    In the US we also have a leadership focused on squashing dissent and it's called AIPAC 😉 The dots are always connected. All you have to do is look at the names, connections and supporters. Wherever there is a problem or issue the same culprits are always there. All you have to do is look into who drafted this bill up and whom their supporters and backers are. Tell ya one thing, not the Chinese,Russians, Iranians, or Arabs  ;)
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/US-Senate-posed-to-pass-TikTok-ban-stuffed-into-Taiwan-Ukraine-and-Israel-support-package-as-early-as-Tuesday.829844.0.html
    Who are those “culprits?” Could you be more specific?
  • Reply 16 of 18
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,378member
    avon b7 said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker

    The EU dictates the law and you must follow now but you can appeal good luck, in China they dictate the law and you must follow with no appeal, in the USA congress passes a law but you can appeal/sue right away and possibly get a stay and have your day in court. I know which system I prefer maybe that's a part of the reason the UK left the EU. Most of the bigger English speaking countries would have trouble in time with the EU overlords.
    I'm British and can't think of any valid future Prime Ministers to vote for! Give me an EU 'overlord' any day!

    And now I can vote again so I have a real dilemma. Ironically, and because of Brexit I have lost my EU vote. 
    The fact that you can't think of any valid future Prime Ministers is precisely why Brexit happened.

    https://www.essex.ac.uk/research/showcase/why-britain-really-voted-to-leave-the-european-union

    It's probable that measures within the EU were at least partly responsible for Brexit success, immigration, and austerity being major factors, but it is also the case the the UK is a diminished empire.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    danox said:
    blastdoor said:
    Corporations are dictatorships run by all powerful CEOs held loosely in check by a board. China is kind of like that, too. So I imagine it’s more comfortable, in some ways, for corporations to deal with the Chinese government than it is for them to deal with a democratic government like the EU. Maybe that explains why Apple quickly, and without the slightest complaint, does whatever Xi tells them to do, but goes kicking and screaming when it’s the EU.

    Not that I agree with the EU on most things— I don’t. But I do recognize the democratic legitimacy of the EU, which in the long run means the EU is far better than china.

    Guess what hot shot Apple anywhere in the world is going to comply (eventually) to what the local laws say if they want sell or make anything in that country. all governments around world don't want real encryption all want to censor the populace, and like most corporations and people in general don't anyone speaking out on certain topics that bring discomfort, where have you been under a rock?

    The EU has the same goals help themselves within their sphere of influence.
    I don’t think the EU — or most other democratically elected governments — have the same goals as the current leaders of China. That’s a huge false equivalence. 

    Your pal,

    Hot Shot 

    They most certainly do right now the EU gets a free pass because of shared history but that honeymoon won't last....
    Even on the relatively small issue of regulating tech companies, there are huge differences in motivation and methods. Chinese leadership is focused on squashing dissent and protecting the regime, and there is no appeals process or transparency to their regulations and actions. The EU is focused on the best interests of their citizens, the rules are written down, and there’s an appeals process. And most importantly of all, if EU citizens don’t like what their representatives have done, they can vote them out. 

    When you switch to issues of war and peace the contrast is even starker

    The EU dictates the law and you must follow now but you can appeal good luck, in China they dictate the law and you must follow with no appeal, in the USA congress passes a law but you can appeal/sue right away and possibly get a stay and have your day in court. I know which system I prefer maybe that's a part of the reason the UK left the EU. Most of the bigger English speaking countries would have trouble in time with the EU overlords.
    I'm British and can't think of any valid future Prime Ministers to vote for! Give me an EU 'overlord' any day!

    And now I can vote again so I have a real dilemma. Ironically, and because of Brexit I have lost my EU vote. 
    The fact that you can't think of any valid future Prime Ministers is precisely why Brexit happened.

    https://www.essex.ac.uk/research/showcase/why-britain-really-voted-to-leave-the-european-union

    It's probable that measures within the EU were at least partly responsible for Brexit success, immigration, and austerity being major factors, but it is also the case the the UK is a diminished empire.
    Austerity was as much a British policy as it was an EU policy. But I think it was the suffering caused by austerity that pushed brexit through in the end. Immigration fears too, perhaps. 

    The US didn’t go for austerity and fared far better than the Europeans, but the US stimulus fell far short of what was needed to recover quickly. So the recovery was long and a lot of people suffered because of it. 

    Often when people are suffering economically, they aren’t entirely sure why. So they lash out 
    tmayAlex_V
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