Apple, Microsoft, and many other prominent players in the market have been asked to remove Skype and VPN apps from the app stores. China has requested these firms to remove apps that violate its regulatory reforms and the firms have obliged to it without any conflict.
The Chinese great wall of secrecy is causing a lot of trouble for the internet giants. Apple and Microsoft are caught in the game between the Chinese government and the VPN apps that provide anonymous online browsing services. These issues are here to stay with no sign of resolving anytime soon.
Skype Censorship And The Great Chinese Firewall
Skype is a prominent VoIP software that provides online communication through chat and video. However, China now has asked all the companies that promote Skype on their app stores to take it down. Apparently, according to the Chinese authorities, Skype is violating the digital security laws. All major players in the field like Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei and other companies have obliged to the rule of the land.
The online takedown on Skype was first reported in October this year; however, at that time there was still hope for the revival of this service. Now, it seems that it is certain to remain out of the app store. Anyone travelling to China will not be able to use Skype there.
Microsoft, in its reply given to New York Times, said that the app is only "temporarily removed" and it will go live again once the issue revolving around whether it violates the laws, settles down.
Under the current regime of President Xi Jinping, China is witnessing one of the most stringent online laws. The country is looking forward to a highly controlled internet, where every flow of information is monitored.
Before Skype, Facebook's Whatsapp was hit by a similar blockage by the Chinese regime. Other prominent players hit by China's firewall are Gmail, Telegram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Line. It seems that the Chinese authorities have found a new past time to curb the spread of online internet companies of foreign origin.
Impact Of Ban
The ban on Skype has not hit the value of Microsoft shares in the market. Both Apple and Microsoft shares have shown positive movement in the stock market.
However, the internet's most influential companies would want to find a way out of the Chinese censorship pretty soon. China is a great market because of its internet penetration and robust infrastructure. If companies can find a solution then there is a lot to gain with the partnership with the Chinese market.