Apple Pulls App That Helped Chinese Internet Users Over the Great Firewall

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 3 2013 8:41 PM

Apple Pulls App That Helped Chinese Internet Users Over the Great Firewall

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Customers purchase new Apple iPhone 5S and 5C smartphones in Beijing, China.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A free app once available at Apple’s App Store in China that allowed Internet users to circumvent the so-called “Great Firewall” has been removed by the company. The app, called OpenDoor, was removed from the store in July with no explanation or notification, reports Radio Netherlands. The company says that its app had been downloaded roughly 800,000 times with one-third of those coming from China.

Despite repeated requests to Apple for the cause of the removal, the company didn’t receive an explanation until Aug. 28, when Apple officially notified the company that it “includes content that is illegal in China,” according to Radio Netherlands. This is not the first app that has been pulled from Apple’s Chinese App Store, it also removed a U.S. news app founded by the banned Falun Gong group, as well as an app that allowed users to access books banned in China, according to the BBC.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.