Apple must delete WhatsApp and Threads from Chinese App Store

The Chinese government has ordered Apple to remove the chat application WhatsApp from the App Store in China. Apple emphasized on Thursday that it was forced to comply with the laws of the countries in which it operates.


The Threads app from the Facebook group, which competes with Elon Musk's Twitter successor X, was also removed from the download platform. The Chinese internet regulatory authority cited national security concerns when issuing the order, the iPhone group told the Wall Street Journal with.

WhatsApp and Threads can only be used in China via VPN services anyway, which redirect the data traffic so that it appears to come from another country. Western communication apps are blocked in the country itself. However, some of them, such as WhatsApp, could at least be downloaded to devices from the App Store. Removing them closes a loophole in the so-called "great Chinese firewall", which the government in Beijing uses to control access to information on the internet.

Relations between the US and China are currently tense - including when it comes to apps. A bill is on its way through the US Congress to force a change in ownership of the popular video app TikTok. The parent company Bytedance is regarded in the USA as a Chinese company with headquarters in Beijing. TikTok rejects this - and points to a majority stake held by international investors. At the same time, the Chinese government expressed outrage at the political pressure for a change of ownership.

The corresponding US bill has passed the House of Representatives and is now in the Senate, the second chamber of Congress, where it could also be passed in the near future. (SDA)

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