Apple Blocked Access To Apps In Russia And Hong Kong To Gain Profits, Confirms New Report

A new report is shedding light on the great extent that leading iPhone maker Apple was willing to go for profits.

This includes censoring leading apps in both Russia and Hong Kong so it could strengthen and safeguard its relationship with the countries and gain monetary benefits.

Both these countries are known for their authoritarian regimes and continually make access to several markets out there today, as confirmed by the leading group for free rights, Great Fire.

Among the apps blocked included the likes of those related to VPNs and the controversial category of LGBTQ+. These were seen getting targeted the most as reported under the project called Great Fire’s Apple Censorship.

The findings linked to those in Russia showed how the tech giant was willing to fully comply with the laws of censorship in Russia until it left the market, which was right after its invasion of Ukraine in March.

Apple was seen forcing a new type of system regarding targeted censorship in the App Store of Russia so it could continually get access to the market, as mentioned by the group. It especially targeted those apps that were on the wanted list of Russia for immediate removal as the country didn’t wish for its citizens to use them. The research highlights how LGBTQ+ were the most affected apps of them all.

Paying attention to the country’s strict censorship rules, at least 25 different LGBTQ+ apps were in focus and had been eliminated from the App Store.

It’s clear how Apple has gone about allowing censorship of apps belonging to vulnerable members of society and was even seen promoting those apps that the government uses for the sole purpose of surveillance.

It’s also interesting how the group ended up finding at least 30 different VPN apps getting removed from the App Store in Russia, including several apps linked to foreign media or news.

But it’s not just Russia who had been targeted. Other nations that were similarly affected included the likes of Hong Kong where this report showed how nearly 50 different VPNs were blocked, and the same was the case for apps allowing private browsing.
It went on to describe how Apple really censored such content that officials hailing from China and Hong Kong were concerned to be violating the country’s local laws or began playing opinions that were critical to Beijing.

So for the sake of achieving personal gains, Apple did censor content and keep millions of users away from the true happenings of society, the research found. Be it activists, political figures, minority groups based on religion and ethnicity, vulnerable individuals, and more- Apple really showed a shocking side to many.

But the report is also informing readers of how Apple might appear to be making things better by withdrawing its operations from Russia and even relocating several of its production plants away from China, but the truth is far from just that.

There is a lack of evidence present that shows how certain scenarios like this are being improved at the App Store.

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