Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been “temporarily removed” from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times.
Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.
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. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.
Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app.
Skype is the latest victim of China’s strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Microsoft wouldn’t comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google’s services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years.
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