Apple Pulls WhatsApp, Threads, Telegram, and Signal from its Chinese App Store

Apple has removed Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China.

The removal follows orders to do so by the Chinese government, which cited national security concerns.

Two other foreign messaging apps, Telegram and Signal have also been removed from the store.

Other Meta apps including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger remained available to download, according to a report by Reuters. Many other popular apps developed by Western companies including YouTube and X were also available.

Being has been typically intolerant towards some foreign online messaging services that fall outside of its control.

It is still unclear how WhatsApp or Threads might have caused security concerns for Chinese authorities.

All of the four apps trail Tencent’s WeChat as a dominant service in China.
The four apps remain available in Hong Kong and Macau, China’s two special administrative regions.

China tech industry experts think that the government order on WhatsApp and Threads could be related to a new rule that requires all apps available in China to register with the government or risk being removed.

The deadline for companies to complete registrations was the end of March and the regulations came into effect on April 1.

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