China curbs use of popular internet call apps, like Skype

China is curbing access to internet communication services. Popular internet phone services, including Skype, have been removed from China’s app stores. For international internet calling, WeChat still offers an alternative that generally works well.

According to the South China Morning Post, the measures following steps in early 2017 to curb the use of unauthorised VPN services, tools used by Chinese internet users to bypass the “Great Firewall” and access blocked sites. The report claims that users of the popular international messaging app WhatsApp also experienced frequent service disruptions last month.

Skype is no longer available in app stores in China overseen by Apple, Tencent and Qihoo 360 Technology. Alphabet’s Google Play app store is not available in China. According to the report, Apple stated that it had removed several internet phone call apps from the outlet in China after the country’s government said that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law.

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