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Apple pulls Meta’s WhatsApp, Threads from China App Store

Apple removed many messaging apps, including Meta’s WhatsApp and Threads, from China’s App Store because to security concerns, as mandated by the government.

The action heightens tensions between the United States and China over technology and other issues. In recent days, Congress has sought to expedite legislation requiring TikTok’s Chinese parent firm, ByteDance, to relinquish the social media app. The House might vote on a new plan as soon as Saturday, and US President Joe Biden has promised to sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

“We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree,” Apple stated in a statement. “The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns.”

Other chat apps, like Signal and Telegram, were also blocked from China’s App Store.

The poor relationship between the two countries has also prompted Apple to try to expand its supply chain beyond China. The corporation has been extending its manufacturing activities in various countries, including India and Vietnam.

China has a long history of blocking access to US-based content online, but some services, such as WhatsApp and Threads, have previously been available through Apple’s App Store. These platforms are not as popular with Chinese users as WeChat, but their removal limits their ability to engage with individuals outside of China.

Meta referred CNBC to Apple for comment. Signal and Telegram did not immediately reply to inquiries for comment.



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