The Chinese Government tasked Apple to remove several apps from the country's App Store. In particular, it seeks to eliminate apps that use the CallKit framework.
A post on the Apple Developer Forums on May 17 shows a message from Apple's Resolution Center stating that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to remove apps that connect with CallKit.
Following the MIIT's suggestions, Apple did an internal review of the Chinese App Store and found several apps that were compatible with CallKit. Apple told developers that they could not approve their apps. The Resolution Center asked them to make the necessary changes and resubmit them for review. If approved, the app would be back on the Chinese App Store.
What Is CallKit?
CallKit was introduced during the iOS 10 update. It serves as a way for third-party apps to connect with iPhones. Some of the third-party apps that have CallKit integrated into their apps include Microsoft-owned Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
CallKit also works with Voice Over Internet Protocols features. It could initiate phone calls through Bluetooth and ask Siri for assistance. It also could block spam calls. Also, businesses could also benefit from CallKit as it could integrate mobile communications by operating under a manageable corporate account.
App Removal Backlash
This is not the first time that Apple gave in to China's demands. Last summer, the technology company removed Skype from the Chinese App Store. It also removed various virtual private network-related apps the previous year. While the removal was not due to a ban, Apple had to comply with Chinese laws.
U.S. government officials were unhappy with Apple's decision to obey the Chinese government. They believe Apple has the moral obligation to promote freedom of expression. Chinese authorities also blocked companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter from expanding their services.
Meanwhile, the company is expected to unveil Siri improvements in the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. According to the Apple Post, iPhone users can ask Siri for clues regarding the WWDC. Siri hints, for instance, that she will be getting a new voice and a potential new model for the HomePod.
Apple is expanding its Everyone Can Code initiative to additional schools in the upcoming school year. The technology company would collaborate with teachers and school administrators on enhancing education for blind and deaf students. By using the Swift program, it will enable students to learn about coding and developing apps.
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on Bloomberg TV and revealed that Apple Music subscriptions have reached over 50 million. Currently, Apple Music is in second place in the music streaming competition as Spotify has over 170 million users, which include both paid and free subscribers. Industry insiders believe that Apple Music could overtake Spotify concerning paid subscribers by 2019 or 2020.
Tech Times reached out to Apple for a comment on this story.