Apple has removed 1Blocker from the App Store in China due to claims that the app is a VPN and that the developer does not have the appropriate license required to operate it.
1Blocker took to Twitter Tuesday indicating:
Apple removed 1Blocker from the China App Store for being a “VPN app”. We are going to appeal this.
We have no VPN servers. In fact, we do not direct data traffic through any servers at all. Everything is done locally inside our network extension.
A message attached to the tweet from the App Store Review highlights the section ‘5.4 VPN apps’ in the topic and says that 1Blocker “will be removed from the China App Store because it contains content that is illegal in China.” Specifically, it notes that the government requires VPN app developers to have a license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to operate them, and that 1Blocker does not have this.
Apple says the only way to fix this is to get a license and give it to Apple. Only companies based in China can get the license, and Apple says that without one, the app will be made unavailable in the App Store. The app is still available everywhere else, but 1Blocker notes that China is its number two download market.
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1Blocker expresses further annoyance, saying that Apple has removed the Mac version of its app from the App Store, even though it does not mention VPN anywhere “and does not even install a VPN profile.” 1Blocker stated that Apple usually “gives a notification before an app is removed from the store”, but that “In our case, they went straight out and removed it.”