Apps using CallKit framework have started being pulled down by Apple from their Chinese App store. This is in compliance with the newly enforced regulation by the Ministry of Information and Technology in China.
The removal of Apps by APPLE from their Appstore in China is not entirely a new phenomenon. Last year the company began removing all VPN apps from their Appstore. The move will allow developers to assimilate their calling services with other call-related apps. This allows developers to handle communication on their own VoIP service as Apple provides the Calling interface.
In strict adherence, The Tech-giant has begun sending notices to developers to cease using the CallKit integration in their apps. It further warned that those who will not comply will have it removed. The removal appears not to sit well with users. It also led to several U.S legislatures accusing the company of acting too fast on the Chinese new laws. The company is said to have removed as high as 58,000 apps in just a fortnight.
Although the Chinese Ministry did not give reasons for the ban it should be noted that VoIP services are ordinarily not allowed in the country. The government feels that VoIP makes it hard for its agents to monitor communication since the service make it easier for users to avoid censorship and surveillance.
China seems relentless in enforcing strict cybersecurity regulations. The laws are determined to strengthen what China is calling the Great Firewall. The government is known to scrutinize the internet usage in the country. Using the Great Firewall, which is, a system of countermeasures and filters the authorities have sometimes gone to an extent of partially disconnecting the internet from the outside world.
Due to such firm rules, WeChat seemed to have had the foresight and removed CallKit from their app a while ago. The messaging app has risen to become one of the main communication tools in China.
Last year, another famous app, Skype was also forced under the hammer and Apple went ahead and removed the application.
As a result of the tough laws, foreign companies will have to adjust since they now have to store data locally. Companies working in the critical information sector like finance and transport will now have to provide to authorities, a certain level of technical support.
In line with this, Apple moved its iCloud encryption keys based in China to a shared facility with a Chinese company.