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Apple removes WhatsApp, Threads from its App Store in China: Here's why

Apple has removed WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store following a directive from the Chinese government. However, other Meta apps including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger are still available on the App Store in the country.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: April 19, 2024 14:24 IST
Apple App Store
Image Source : APPLE Apple App Store

Apple has removed a few Meta-owned apps from its App Store in China. As per the information shared by the company, it has removed WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China at the request of the Chinese government.

The action came after the country's internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China had ordered the applications’ removal from the App Store, as per the company. As per reports by The Financial Times, the order was passed because of 'national security concerns'. 

"We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree," Apple was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Meta's other communications platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger are still available on the App Store in the country.

According to Rich Bishop, chief executive of the leading international app publisher in China, AppInChina, the apps were delisted after the Chinese government's internet regulator and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a deadline of April 1 for app developers to register with the government.

In China, Apple saw a double-digit decline in overall smartphone unit sales in the first six weeks of 2024.

iPhone sales fell 24 per cent over the period due to stiff competition, according to Counterpoint Research.

"Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now," said Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang.

Meanwhile, Apple has recently launched the latest beta version of its iOS operating system, namely, the iOS 17.5 Beta 2. This updated version comes with several new features and functionalities that will be available to eligible iPhone models post its public release next month. One of the most significant highlights of this iOS 17.5 update is the ability to directly install apps from developers' websites. It will also simplify the app distribution process for developers by bypassing Apple's alternate marketplace and App Store.

ALSO READ: iPhone users can now repair their smartphone with used genuine parts: All you need to know

Inputs from IANS

 

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