In today’s virtual world, the popularity of different telecommunication apps is soaring on a high note. Amidst an array of communication apps claiming to fame, Skype has stood out undoubtedly. Easily considerable as a popular podium of virtual communication, Skype allows the users to make voice calls and video chats between tablets, computers and different mobile devices with aid of Internet. Be it for transmitting text messages or exchanging digital documents such as texts, videos or images, Skype has become a quintessential application for the modern generation. However, this popularity has surprisingly taken a backseat in China, as the country has recently decided to scrub Skype from Apple Inc. and Android smartphone app stores. Wondering why? Indulge in this following snippet to unveil some shocking facts involving the clampdown –
A jolt to the virtual communication of China:-
Back in Autumn, Skype was hit by the blockages of China, being included in the list of services to be proclaimed unusable by the Chinese government filters. Apple, which has confirmed the removal of Skype from its app store, stated that the Chinese government has accused the program of disobeying a local cyberlaw. As per the Ministry of Public Security, an array of voice-over-Internet protocol applications including Skype do not comply with the Chinese laws, and hence, the government has taken then the decision of banning them.
Reason behind this decision hasn’t been unveiled yet:-
As per the reports, China has blocked WhatsApp and several other messaging apps mainly because their encryptions prevent from spying and also do not need an original name for signing up. Also, as it cracks down on VPNs, it could be used to elude censorship and thereby keep conversations private. Unlike these cases, the banning of Skype seems not to be related to the attempts to stifle disagreement during the Communist Party’s National Congress. Skype began disappearing after the meeting was over, which seems to be a general policy implementation than any other event-specific response. While the true reasoning for this clampdown has not yet unveiled, it is more likely that the officials are not happy with Skype because it is a foreign-run program.
Is it a temporary decision?
One of the Microsoft spokespersons stated that Skype has been banned temporarily from the Apple store and the company is now working “to reinstate the app as soon as possible.” But the spokesperson did not address its absence from a large number of third-party Android app stores. As a majority of Google’s services have been banned in China, the Android users are compelled to revert to the alternate stores for downloads, and the main app of Skype was unavailable on the popular ones run by the Chinese tech giants including Xiaomi and Huawei.
The decision is certainly a reminder of how duty-bound Apple has turned into for the Chinese Government at this moment when the leadership is consistently encouraging to amplify its control over the Internet. In order to stay in the good book of China, Apple has decided to take down Skype from its app store.
Even though a flurry of online complaints have been triggered owing to Skype’s removal, the majority of online users in China are happily switching to many other chatting and calling services like WeChat, etc. Amidst the soaring popularity of WeChat, it is truly impossible to decide whether Skype will be back with a bang or will dissolve into oblivion permanently!
A post by Tania Ghosh. 27th November, 2017.