Skype 'Temporarily' Removved from China Apple and Android App Stores
By Faith Magbanua, November 22, 2017 23:11 PM
Skype's call and messaging service has been removed from app stores in China, including the Apple app store on Wednesday.
According to Apple, it is one of several apps to have been removed after the government said it does not comply with local law.
Furthermore, Skype owner Microsoft have told the BBC that the app had been "temporarily removed" and the company was "working to reinstate the app as soon as possible".
To add to that, Skype is also no longer available for download on Android app stores in China.
Reports from the media suggest that the disruption to Skype started early in October.
To add to that, Apple said in a statement: "We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law."
"Therefore, these apps have been removed from the app store in China."
Meanwhile, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "The iOS version of Skype has been temporarily removed from the App store in China... we're passionate about the benefit that Skype offers to our users around the world by facilitating communication and enabling collaboration."
Skype was first released in August 2003 and was developed by the Swede Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis, in cooperation with Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn, Estonians who developed the backend that was also used in the music-sharing application, Kazaa. In September 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion.
However, amidst the "deletion" of the app, the company has declined to give a statement on when its Skype app was first removed, or the situation with Android.
Tests was conducted by several uses in China and they have indeed found out that Skype was not available for download on Apple or Android app stores on Wednesday.
In July, creators disapproved when the tech giant took down more than 60 virtual private networks which circumvent China's internet firewall because it was "legally required to remove them" under Chinese regulations.
The regulations are seen as part of efforts to control public opinion and eliminate anti-government sentiment on the internet in China, and have raised concerns from foreign companies trying to expand their user base in China.
Reporters are saying that Skype, when downloaded from outside China's firewall, has been seen as a semi-secure way of discussing sensitive topics away from the eyes and ears of China's state security.
Skype is just the latest in a string of foreign owned digital and internet platforms - including Alphabet's Google, Facebook and Twitter - which have become unavailable to Chinese users.
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