China’s crackdown on the Internet is continuing with news that Apple was forced to remove all major VPN (Virtual Private Networks) apps from its local App store, which helps users overcome the country’s “Great Firewall.”
Service providers slammed the move, calling it a “dangerous precedent.” They seem to be correct in their worries. Russian President Vladimir Putin passed a law on Sunday banning VPNs that allow Russians to bypass restrictions on flagged sites.
VPNs are the most common way to bypass China’s Great Firewall, which blocks multiple global websites, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, or news sites like The New York Times. NordVPN, a VPN service provider, is still working in China.
“We never had an Apple app in China as we were expecting similar issues – that’s why we didn’t get affected by the removal from the App store,” says NordVPN CMO Marty Kamden. “NordVPN works in China on desktop apps, and we are currently developing a solution for mobile apps, including iOS and Android. Currently, our VPN works with Windows with no problems.”