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Skype disappears from mobile app stores in China

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Microsoft’s Skype app for Android and iOS has been removed from a number of app stores in China for almost a month. The New York Times reports that 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.