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Apple removed Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from App Store in China

San Francisco: Apple on Friday said that it removed Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China at the request of the Chinese government.

As per the iPhone maker, the country’s internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China had ordered the applications’ removal from the App Store because of ‘national security concerns’, reports The Financial Times.

“We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree,” Apple was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Meta’s other communications platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger are still available on the App Store in the country.

According to Rich Bishop, chief executive of the leading international app publisher in China, AppInChina, the apps were delisted after the Chinese government’s internet regulator and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a deadline of April 1 for app developers to register with the government.

In China, Apple saw a double-digit decline in overall smartphone unit sales in the first six weeks of 2024.

iPhone sales fell 24 per cent over the period due to stiff competition, according to Counterpoint Research.

“Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now,” said Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang.

Also Read: Vivo V30e Launch To Take Place On May 2, To Be Available On Flipkart

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