Apple Stops Offering Chinese Anti-Censorship App

Open Door is a popular app in China that helps users get past the Great Firewall. But because of legal issues, Apple has removed the app from its stores in China. The app is still available in other App Stores, but users fear it will soon be removed from there as well. HideMyAss tells Internet users in China not to worry, however, since Open Door is not the only tool they can use to free their Internet. HideMyAss offers their unblocking services to Apple products users in China.

Open Door Popularity

The App Store in China recorded about 2,000 downloads of Open Door every day until it was removed in July of this year. Apple said that they had to take it off because it contained content that was illegal in China. The app was offered free in the China App Store, and put the responsibility of using it on the users. Developers and users alike therefore do not understand why Apple had to remove the app. They also worry that the app will soon disappear from other App Stores around the world.

The developers of Open Door did not receive any notification from Apple regarding the removal of the app from their stores. They contacted Apple to find out what was going on, and were told that Apple must act in accordance with the country’s laws. Apple firmly stated that they would not challenge the removal of Open Door because they were afraid that the app would be targeted. This, they said, might cause the app to be removed in other countries. Chinese social media users and bloggers retaliated online, claiming that Apple had lost its integrity and that the company was bowing to the demands of China’s government, being obedient apple polishers.

Open Door Alternatives

Internet users in China use many different kinds of unblocking technologies including VPNs, HideMyAss reports. Their fondness for Open Door is not the only reason why they are protesting the decision to remove the app, however. They see this move as a more general threat to their freedom of access as it could mean that others may follow suit. HideMyAss wants to ease these fears, announcing that they have no plans to stop serving users in the country. Regardless of the status of availability of apps in the App Store in China, HideMyAss will continue to serve users there. HideMyAss believes in preserving open and free Internet everywhere in the world. They also work to continue to help users to protect their privacy and anonymity online.

Open Door is a browser app that circumvents China’s Great Firewall. It was used to access websites that are blocked in china. The HideMyAss app for iPhones and iPads can do the same, and open access to other Internet based applications as well. They assure users that their VPN services can work just as well, and offer more flexibility in terms of content access. Open Door is free, supported by advertisements, and offered in-app purchases for users who wanted to remove the ads. The HideMyAss setup is similar, and so will not adversely affect the user experience.

Apple has pulled apps from the China App Store before for the same reasons. Apple came under fire from the Chinese government several months ago, barraged with anti-Apple propaganda. They then removed an app that gave Chinese users access to books that were banned in China. Apple apologized to Chinese users, but they are not happy with Apple’s compliance. Apple knows that the Chinese market is important, but may not be able to get over this bump. Meantime, HideMyAss and other VPN providers continue to serve Chinese customers.

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