Apple removes apps with CallKit framework from the App Store in China

“It’s been nearly a year since Apple began removing all VPN apps from the App Store in China, and now the iEmpire is bringing down the hammer on another type of app,” Lulu Chang reports for Digital Trends.

“Following the enforcement of new regulation from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Apple is removing apps that use the CallKit framework,” Chang reports. “This allows developers to integrate their calling services with other call-related apps, providing the calling interface but allowing developers to handle the back-end communication with their own VoIP service.”

“Apple has begun notifying developers who use this framework that they cannot use this functionality as per new government regulations. In order for their apps to be displayed in the app store, they’ll have to remove any CallKit features,” Chang reports. “While it’s not entirely clear why the Chinese government is disallowing CallKit, it’s likely due to the VoIP functionalities, which are generally not permitted in the nation. When Skype was removed from the app store last summer, it was for a similar issue. These VoIP services could allow users to dodge censorship and surveillance, as they make it difficult for government officials to monitor communication.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why can’t Chinese citizens be trusted with freedom?

Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship. ― Bruce Coville

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. — Potter Stewart

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  1. Apple didn’t remove anything on purpose, it was forced to do so by the Chinese authorities. Out of no choice, Tim Cook obligated and given to the whims and desires of the Chinese authorities.

    1. It doesn’t help with the fact that Apple gear is assembled in China and right now there is no other alternative. Apple has to bow down out of NO Choice

    1. Just to clarify, though, China is an authoritarian plutocratic capitalist regime, not really communist. I mean, come on, the name isn’t what determines a government. I’m assuming you don’t derisively refer to the government of North Korea as “those damned democratic people’s republicans,” right?
      There are probably a bunch of communists in China, but that isn’t their form of government in practice.

      1. One further clarification: fuck the government of China. They are horrifyingly bad.
        I wish Apple and all other powerful entities (governments, corporations, others) would band together to tell them to fuck their censorship and oppression.

  2. Apple did have a choice, they could have taken a principled stand and yes, it would have cost them billions.

    The company talks of human rights but it only applies to western countries (which I’ve referred to in the past as low hanging fruit). This means you either practice what you preach or you or you don’t preach at all. I’d be much more respectful (and proud of Apple) if they were consistent in this respect, but they’re not.

    Likewise the company could produce their goods in other low wage countries (such as India, Indonesia and more recently Malaysia) that have functioning parliamentary democracies, independent judiciaries and a free press but this is not the case.

    Ultimately the company has made their choice so when Apple talks about consumer privacy and support for human rights it only goes just so far.

    1. If Apple had taken that “principled stand,” as you put it, then the company would have put its shareholders in a world of hurt with pretty much no chance of making and positive difference with respect to the communist government in China.

      Would you like companies to do the same thing in other countries around the world, including the U.S.? I doubt it.

      Apple has effected positive change in China and elsewhere – better working conditions, better wages, reduction in child labor, improvements to environment impact, etc. These are all things that the company did voluntarily, but did not have to do. Flouting the laws of a sovereign country, however, does not fall within the realistic realm of protest. Get off of your high horse and face reality.

  3. Yes I would expect companies to take a principled stand and maybe we should treat China as we did the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They are a authoritian society and they do not play by international rules.

    China is not going to change in any fundamental way and western governments should see China for what they are…an existential threat to our (western) wellbeing.

    In Australia if we take a stand against China they affect our exports to the country, bribe our politicians to gain influence, disrupt our educational institutions when they dislike what is being taught.

    In Xianjiang province they are putting tens of thousands of Ughurs into re-education camps to teach them that their religion is a threat to the “mother country” and if you tell what is going on then your family goes into a camp as well. This is straight out of the cultural revolution.

    If China didn’t have a market to sell their goods and if western companies didn’t trade with China then perhaps they may change the way they interact with the West. But to assist the country achieve world domination is clearly unacceptable. In sum I really do believe that western governments should prevent companies from doing business with China as the country should be treated as a pariah state.

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