By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Nov 22: Skype has become the latest internet communications tool on China’s blacklist as it disappeared from app stores in China.
Microsoft’s Skype app is no longer available for download on Apple Store or Android sites in China and the Chinese web users have said it had been gone for weeks, reports hongkongfp.com.
“We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of VoIP (voice over internet protocol) apps do not comply with local law, therefore these apps have been removed from the App Store in China,” the report quoted Apple as saying in an emailed statement.
However, the tech giant did not specify which laws such apps were found to have violated.
According to a report on The New York Times, a Microsoft spokesperson has said that Skype has been temporarily removed from Apple’s App Store in China and the software giant is working to reinstate the app as soon as possible. So it remains to be seen how long Skype will remain blocked from app stores in China.
Internet in China is being heavily censored and regulated under the Communist Party’s cyber-security law. The content on internet are being routinely censored to weed out issues the party deems sensitive and taboo.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are blocked in China along with google search engine and major foreign media outlets.
Amidst China’s heightened clampdown on internet under Xi Jingping, a stringent regulation on Virtual Private Networks(VPN) was earlier isued too crack down on the use of software which allows users to get around its heavy internet censorship.