If you have been looking at the Chinese App Store, you might have noticed that all VPN apps are now gone from the iOS Store. ExpressVPN was the first group to notice that the VPN apps have all been removed from the Chinese App Store. We have all of the latest news about this change, with a notice just going out from Apple this weekend about the change.
Chinese App Store No Longer Supporting VPN Apps
Apple has decided to remove all of the major VPN apps that were found on the Chinese App Store. This change just happened within the last day, and Apple has released a notice to all VPN developers about the decision. ExpressVPN was the first to notice the removal of the VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, with the company getting the notice this weekend from Apple. ExpressVPN is not even based in China, although it appears that all VPN apps have been removed regardless of the location of the app developer itself.
In the letter from Apple, the company said that these VPN apps have been removed because that type of content is now illegal in China. If you are looking in the Chinese App Store now, you will notice that these VPN apps have all been removed in order to comply with the regulations and restrictions that China has placed on Internet content. This new change is coming from the Chinese government, as it continues to censor various information on the Internet, including the use of a VPN. ExpressVPN was not happy either and the company said it was disturbed to know that Apple was aiding the Chinese government in censorship.
VPN Apps Pulled From Chinese App Store
Apple released a statement about this basically saying that it is just complying with the Chinese government regulations. The regulations come from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The regulations were changed so that all VPN apps had to be licensed by the Chinese government in order to be approved in the country. The government has to give out the licenses, and Apple was just removing the apps that were not in compliance with the new rules and regulations.
The good news here is that if your billing address is not in China, you should still be able to download and use the VPN apps from the Chinese App Store. The Chinese Internet Censorship has been going on for a while now, but the crackdown on the VPN apps was just something announced this year. The VPN app crackdown is set to continue until March 2018. There was a bill passed last year by the Chinese government as well, which put more regulations on various service providers.
Another good piece of information to know is that you can create a fake identity from a different country in order to access the App Store without issues. So this means that if you live in China, you could technically make an account as an American and use the US App Store, although that is a bit against the rules. There are people that do this all of the time, and you can look online for directions on how to do this if this is a way you want to still access the VPN apps outside of the App Store in China.
We are not sure when the VPN apps will be back in the Chinese App Store or if more crackdowns will be coming in the future. For now though, it looks like you will have to make a fake identity from another country if you live in China and want to access the VPN apps.