Reports that Skype has disappeared from iOS and Android app stores across China signal a potential opportunity for telemedia companies.
According to The New York Times reports, Skype has been removed due to local laws that apply to VoIP services in China. “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law,” says an Apple spokesperson in a statement to the NYT. “Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China.”
While Google’s official Play Store doesn’t operate in China, other third-party Android app services have also removed Skype. It’s not clear how long Skype will remain blocked from these app stores, but a Microsoft spokesperson tells the NYT that Skype has been “temporarily removed” from Apple’s App Store in China. The software giant is “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible.”
The Skype removal comes just months after China started blocking WhatsApp. Other services like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter are all blocked by Chinese government filters.
According to Marco Dunhof, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-owner at TelServ: “This very major change follows in succession to the shutdown of several VPN services since last summer, that allow users to get around China’s “Great Firewall” system of Internet censorship. According to Bloomberg News, the government has ordered China’s three telecommunications companies to completely block access to virtual private networks (VPNs) by February 2018. TelServ offers a diversity of numbers for an alternative low-cost solution, a multichannel business model easily expandable to unlimited channels for unified messaging, call centre solutions and conferencing services.”