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Skype Vanishes From Chinese App Market, Another Bites The Dust

Skype.Sam Azgor/Flickr

As a country with a history of having inconvenient apps removed, the disappearance of Skype from the Chinese market isn’t really that surprising. As of writing, all traces of the app are gone from the app stores, including the one that Apple is operating. It would also appear that this has been the case for nearly a month.

The Microsoft messaging app was supposed to be downloadable from several sources in China over a month ago, including that of Apple’s app store. Apparently, this is no longer the case, the New York Times reports. According to Apple, it was asked to remove the app by Chinese authorities, which is to be expected at this point.

“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,” the spokesperson said in an email. “These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.”

To be clear, those who already have Skype can still use the service in the country. It simply cannot be downloaded by new users from a number of sources and the response was not positive. Users have been complaining in the country’s message boards about the disruption that apparently began last October.

This makes Skype only the latest to suffer the overbearing attitude of the Chinese government with regards to foreign messaging services. Wielding its sophisticated censorship capabilities with impunity, the country has already removed several other messaging apps from stores, including Facebook’s WhatsApp.

As Gizmodo notes, many of Google’s services are already banned from the country, which is largely due to noncompliance with the government’s authoritarian policies. Basically, foreign services will only be available in the country as long as they comply with the demands of the authorities to give them access to everything.

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