Microsoft’s Skype app is no longer available for download from several mobile app stores in China. According to Apple, they removed the Skype app based on the notification from Ministry of Public Security in China. In addition to Skype, Chinese government agency has requested to remove a number of VOIP apps that do not comply with local law.
This is not the first time we are hearing such issues from China. For example, WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram, Line and several other communications services are already blocked in China.
“A broad reading of provisions in the law could be taken to mean that there is no longer support for allowing unfettered access to foreign communications tools such as Skype, WhatsApp, Signal and others that are outside the direct control of Chinese authorities,” said Paul Triolo, the head of global technology at Eurasia Group, a consultancy.
But the good news now is that Microsoft is working to make Skype app available in China again. Microsoft said in a statement to NYT that the app has been “temporarily removed” and they are “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible.