Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been "temporarily removed" from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times.

    Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.
    Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app.

    Skype is the latest victim of China's strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.

    Microsoft wouldn't comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google's services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law
     
  2. asdavis10 macrumors 6502

    asdavis10

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    #2
    Apple (and other companies) are so powerless in China. They comply to every draconian request from the government. And the consumers there are slowly being left with neutered hardware. Eventually the Chinese government will just ask for the source code. I wonder how far this goes. Will China stop companies from manufacturing there if companies start to pull their products from the market?
     
  3. unclemax, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

    unclemax macrumors regular

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    #3
    What about iMessages and FaceTime then? Do they… comply with the Ministry of Public Security regulations?

    Given all this anti-encryption frenzy in China (I was present there when WhatsApp suddenly stopped working in the end of September) I am wondering how supposedly end-to-end encrypted iMessages are still allowed.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 21, 2017 ---
    Because those requests have a sound legal basis in that country. There are laws that say that pretty much every entity (a person or a company) has to comply with security services and facilitate intelligence gathering as per their request.
     
  4. thadoggfather macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    #4
    Apple doesn’t even put up a fight. This is resistance Apple, isn’t it?

    No vpn? Fine
    No skype? Fine

    Makes you wonder how much of a fight they put up on the backend for users privacy here in the US, something Tim Cook loves to boast about as a brand differentiator

    I think it’s time for a new person to run Apple

    Tim is the swamp
     
  5. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    #5
    Are you suggesting Apple should break the law in China? Stop doing business in China? I mean, I see the rhetoric. I just don't know what it means or what solution you're proposing.
     
  6. thadoggfather macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    #6
    No the lack of a fight put up, is what concerns me. Even a theatrical fight or some snarky comments about how it’s the wrong decision for China to enforce but ...

    Cook can criticize the president of US but doesn’t even argue with China.

    Just something to think about

    I’m not gonna chime in much in this thread I’m in like every pol one (of my own will)
     
  7. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

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    #7
    You can also issue your concerns on something on a more public basis without breaking (local) law or stopping business. Of course, does Apple have to do it? No. Should they strongen their efforts? Maybe yes.

    I think this is a good point. Even though local law has to be respected, Apple almost always is one of the front runners in ethical or cultural discussions for the better, which is definitely a good thing. But what people remark is that Apple is not really keen on fighting for the freedom of speech in China even though being heavily dependent on the Chinese market and industry.
     
  8. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #8
    Its all about the $$$.

    China is a large market to lose.

     
  9. haruhiko macrumors 601

    haruhiko

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    #9
    China. The only country which can break end to end encryption. By pointing the Renminbi gun to Timmy's head.
     
  10. Kaibelf, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

    Kaibelf macrumors 68000

    Kaibelf

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    #10
    Oh please. Apple (and the US, and that includes yourself and me) are in absolutely no position to dictate to another nation how they should run their country or set their laws. What's next? Complain that we don't listen to the guys who run Iran regarding our broadcast standards? And exactly who would run Apple and would magically have authority over any other country?

    Let's be honest - the US isn't the world's overlord and we're guilty of many many of our own abuses right here at home as well as many questionable things we've done abroad. Want to see "the swamp?" It's in every American mirror because we've never demanded anything differently because it was "keeping us safe," "manifest destiny" or any other number of catchphrases that we used to excuse our actions.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 21, 2017 ---
    That's because Cook is an American citizen and that's kind of part of Americans' civic duty. That doesn't mean we have the right to demand squat from any other nation or its leaders.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 21, 2017 ---
    The app isn't on the store. They didn't break the encryption. Major fundamental difference. That's like saying since the US doesn't nationally allow people to smoke pot, somehow it's lost its effects in Amsterdam and people can't get high there.
     
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 603

    69Mustang

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    #11
    Are you advocating lip service as a viable action from Apple? It sounds like the comments from you and @thadoggfather are simply saying Apple should be making ineffective protestations simply because the optics look better. Is the perception of doing something just as good as actually doing something? For me, no, but it sounds like its okay for you guys.

    1. Apple can comply with Chinese laws and regulations. 2. They can opt to not comply and risk being banned like Google. Hand waving against Chinese policy while complying with it seems like a waste of time.
     
  12. Kaibelf macrumors 68000

    Kaibelf

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    #12
    Many people feel that these types of images and stunts actually do mean something, when anyone who pays attention knows it's bunk. Remember this classic gem from 2003? I sure am glad we're not at war anymore. Oh wait.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. trusso macrumors regular

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    #13
    Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right? China supplies the exploited, cheap labor (who, let's not forget, are people like you and me) so that Apple can make a sizable overhead on their products, and sell them to Americans who don't understand the difference between need – real need – and want.

    Apple wouldn't want the lid to the cookie jar to slam shut on their hands. o_O
     
  14. pika2000 macrumors 68040

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    #14
    So what will YOU do about it?
    Besides, the one not being “compliant” is Skype. Do you see Microsoft actively going against the Chinese government? It’s up to Microsoft on what to do with Skype.
     
  15. Sefstah macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If everyone in the US was a pushover like you, our government would probably rule it’s citizens like China.
     
  16. Kaibelf macrumors 68000

    Kaibelf

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    #16
    Pushover? In the very post you quoted I stated that it is our duty to call out our own leaders. But I guess you insist on personal attacks because I don't get one some American World Police bandwagon. Reading sure is fundamental.

    I could easily counter that I, as an actual engaged American citizen, refuse to just blindly toe the country's line like some kind of bizarre nationalist drone like you'd see in a place with state-controlled life such as North Korea (or China, in some minds). But then again, it takes "pushovers" like me asking questions to protect people who choose to attack them for asking such questions.
     
  17. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

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    #17
    It‘s hard to find an answer on this. Your putting it quite black or white option wise. But I think politics are not always that straight forward. Saying this there might be a third approach between the two option mentioned by you. My opinion.
     
  18. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020

    jonnyb098

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    #18
    This just proves as a reminder to how good we have it here in the US on this subject. Even the FCC trying to repeal net neutrality pales in comparison to the BS in China. Ironic so much information has to get passed along (files, etc.) in order for many companies to operate since so much is made in China......but can’t happen since so many file sharing sites are blocked.

    As someone who has to deal with interactions with China , this just ads to the MANY MANY issues trying to communicate. Seems counterintuitive and counterproductive but that’s a whole other discussion.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #19
    Actually FaceTime Audio is totally disabled on all iPhone sold in China. They don't even work if you take the same phone and bring it to say the United States.
     
  20. sir1963nz macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Ummmm..... how do you KNOW Cook hasn't said anything to China ?????

    Companies make submissions to governments all around the world all of the time privately because a public bun fight win no one any friends .
    --- Post Merged, Nov 21, 2017 ---
    No its all about the sovereignty of another nation. Their country, their rules.

    Feel free to tell me which non US company can operate in the USA and not obey US law.

    And no, the US is NOT the best country, nor the most free, etc etc etc etc
     
  21. M2M macrumors 6502

    M2M

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    #21
    This would be a non issue if Apple made it easy to change the country of an AppStore. But it’s not. It’s super difficult to nearly impossible. While Apple is not to blame for laws of countries it is blame for making the switch impossible and limiting consumer options. Shame on you Apple !
     
  22. iZac, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

    iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #22
    What I don’t get is that in China Skype is a separate product called “Tom Skype” that is produced by a local company. It’s already been established that Tom Skype has a word filter that uploads conversations to “the relevant authorities” when sensitive words are used in conversations. Unless for some unfathomable reason Microsoft’s own version of Skype was still being distributed on iOS in China, I just don’t see what it could be doing ‘wrong’.

    Apple should be impressed by the walled garden that China is establishing. Day by day Winnie the Pooh is further digitally blocking China from the rest of the world and it goes both ways. Recently there is an increase of Chinese websites and services that can’t be accessed when not using a Chinese IP address, further detaching themselves from the rest of the world. China will become the digital hermit kingdom in 10 years, no one in or out.

    EDIT:
    Apologies, apparently my info is outdated and TOM Skype no longer exists, Microsoft partner with another Chinese company to provide Skype in China. I guess after a few years of freedom, their product is being reigned in again.
     
  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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  24. germinator macrumors regular

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    #24
    Sound legal basis??

    What are you smoking? The Chinese Communist Party is a criminal enterprise with no legitimacy whatsoever. Apple and other companies should just ignore those requests
     
  25. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

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    Wellington, New Zealand
    #25
    And what does 'fighting' with the Chinese authorities do? you do realise that China isn't a democracy and Tim has no influence over the political process - in fact, given that he is a foreigner with no connections it would achieve nothing other than to agitate the authorities. Ok, so Tim throws a fit of righteous indignation but in the process his behaviour ends up burning bridges rather than trying to come to some sort of arrangement - is that really in the best interest of Apple? last time I checked Tim's primary concern is ensuring that he is acting in the best interest of those who own Apple - the shareholders.
     

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