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Apple has adhered to Beijing's directive by removing WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store in China

Apple confirmed on Friday that it had complied with orders from Chinese authorities to remove two apps, WhatsApp and Threads, from its App Store within the country. The company stressed its commitment to abiding by local laws, even in cases where there may be disagreement with the directives.

This action effectively closes a loophole that previously allowed Chinese users to access major Western social media platforms through domestic app stores, despite official restrictions. While Meta apps like Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook remain accessible on the Chinese App Store, the removal of WhatsApp and Threads limits the options for iPhone users in China.

However, users still have the alternative option to download these apps from other countries' App Stores and access them via virtual private networks.

The decision to delist WhatsApp and Threads follows a directive from China's influential internet regulator and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. These authorities had imposed a deadline of April 1 for apps operating in China to formally register with the government.

This development coincides with increased scrutiny in the United States, where Congress is gearing up for a vote on a bill aimed at banning the popular short video app TikTok if it remains under the ownership of ByteDance, a Chinese company.

Source: adapted from an article by Sophie Blake, author for Mobile Marketing Reads.

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