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Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from China store after order from government: WSJ

By Ciara Linnane

China's top internet regulator ordered move citing national security concerns

Apple Inc. has removed WhatsApp and Threads from its China store after it was ordered to by the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets reported on Friday.

The iPhone maker (AAPL) said the order from China's top internet regulator was blamed on national security concerns.

"We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree," an Apple spokesperson told the paper in a statement.

WhatsApp was already effectively blocked in China along with other Western social-media apps.

See now: Apple loses spot as world's top smartphone seller as iPhone sales drop 10%

But removing it from the app store means Chinese mobile users are unable to download and use it via a virtual private network, or VPN. VPNs allow users to hide their location while connecting to the internet outside the Great Firewall, China's legislative actions to censor apps.

Apple's stock was flat premarket and is down 13% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 5%.

Read also: Apple CEO says company will 'look at' manufacturing in Indonesia

-Ciara Linnane

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


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04-19-24 0734ET

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