Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from China’s App Store following government order News
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Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from China’s App Store following government order

Apple removed two popular social media applications, Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp and Threads, from its Chinese App Store on Friday due to a directive issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China, citing ‘national security reasons’ according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. Apple also reportedly removed messaging apps Signal and Telegram on the same day.

In a statement to the news outlets, Apple emphasized its commitment to adhering to the regulatory frameworks of the countries in which it operates. China stands as a substantial market for Apple’s iPhones.

This move comes amidst China’s ongoing efforts to regulate online platforms, including a requirement for all mobile app developers to register with the government or cease operations.  This latest move further fosters the dominance of domestic social media platforms like Tencent Holdings’s WeChat, with expectations that apps associated with significant Chinese businesses will align with the evolving regulatory landscape to sustain their operations.

Meanwhile, in the US, a parallel narrative unfolds, characterized by governmental scrutiny of TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video-sharing application. The US government has expressed national security apprehensions, mirroring China’s stance. Despite the contrasting market dynamics, both nations remain entangled in a technology-centric tussle, marked by heightened tensions over trade, technology policies, and national security concerns.

While Meta Platforms, the parent company of WhatsApp and Threads, has yet to issue a statement regarding this development, Apple said via email to multiple media outlets, “We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree.”