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Apple says it has been ordered to remove WhatsApp from China App Store


Apple said it removed Meta-owned apps WhatsApp and Threads from China’s App Store on Friday in compliance with a government order, potentially intensifying a technology war between China and the United States.

The House of Representatives is preparing vote on bill As soon as this weekend, it will force Chinese internet company ByteDance to sell its popular video app TikTok or face being banned from the United States. U.S. lawmakers say TikTok poses a security threat because of its ties to China.

Apple said China’s Internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, ordered WhatsApp and Threads to be removed from its App Store due to national security concerns. Apple said it complied with the rules.

“Even if we disagree, we are obligated to comply with the laws of the countries in which we do business,” an Apple spokesman said.

A Meta spokesperson referred a request for comment to Apple.wall street journal reported earlier Apple removed these apps.

China has long blocked U.S. apps and technology companies, including Facebook and Instagram, which are also owned by Meta. WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging services, while Threads is not widely used in China, which has a complex system to block foreign apps and websites within its borders, known as the Great Firewall. In China, WhatsApp is dwarfed by Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat.

Still, until Friday, Chinese users could download WhatsApp and use it with the help of a virtual private network (VPN), which is used to establish a secure network connection and view banned content within China.

This is a development story. Please check back for updates.

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