Enlarge / An Apple Store in Shanghai, China, on April 11, 2024. (credit: CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Apple said it complied with orders from the Chinese government to remove the Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China. Apple also removed Telegram and Signal from China.

“We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree,” Apple said in a statement quoted by several news outlets. “The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns. These apps remain available for download on all other storefronts where they appear.”

The Wall Street Journal paraphrased a person familiar with the matter as saying that the Chinese cyberspace agency “asked Apple to remove WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store because both contain political content that includes problematic mentions of the Chinese president [Xi Jinping].”

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