"A number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law"
Skype has disappeared from App Stores in China, including Apple’s.
New York Times reports that Microsoft’s internet phone call and messaging service has become unavailable on sites where apps are downloaded in China.
“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,” an Apple spokeswoman said on Tuesday. “These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.”
Users reportedly complained on Chinese internet messaging boards after not being able to pay for Skype’s ervices in late October.
The removal led to a volley of complaints from Chinese users on internet message boards who were no longer able to pay for Skype’s services through Apple. The users said that the disruption began in late October.
Whilst Skype cannot be downloaded in China, it can still function. However, the future of the service remains unclear.
NY times describes its removal as “the most recent example of a decades-long push by China’s government to control and monitor the flow of information online.”
A Microsoft spokesman said Skype had been “temporarily removed” from Apple’s store, adding that the company was “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible.”
The spokesman did not mention Skype’s absence from Android app stores, including third-party ones. Android users in China often use alternate app stores to download their apps as Google’s services are restricted in the country.