UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Apple customers in China will no longer be able to purchase virtual private network services or VPNs from the tech giant’s app store.
VPNs let users visit websites restricted by the Chinese government.
Apple confirmed the move in a statement July 30, saying it was required to remove the services in order to comply with Chinese law.
In January, China outlawed all VPNs not approved by state regulators. Those that are permitted are required to use state network infrastructure.
The country has been tightening its grip over online access and content as it prepares for the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which is a key meeting for the government.
Reuters reports VPN providers criticized the move, saying Apple was succumbing to pressure from Beijing regulators.
China is not the only country cracking down on VPNs. On July 30, the Russian government announced a new law banning technology that provides access to restricted websites.