1Blocker has been removed from the App Store in China for its alleged VPN feature. But the developers denied it.
Apple has removed the app called ‘1Blocker’ from the iOS and Mac App Store in China. 1Blocker is an ad blocker that saves users from ads in Safari. But that’s not why it was banned. Apple removed the app from the store, citing that it was essentially a VPN and did not have the required license under the law in the country.
1Blocker denied Apple’s claims in a statement on social media. It stated that the app is not a VPN server. In addition, he underlined that users do not route network traffic through any proxy server, and stated that they will appeal Apple’s decision.
China imposes licensing requirements on VPN apps
1Blocker shared the information note sent by Apple on its Twitter account. Recalling Article 5.4 of the App Store rules, titled ‘VPN Applications’, Apple told the developer team that the application contains illegal content in China. He also stated that the government has imposed a license requirement for VPN applications to be granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies.
Apple removed 1Blocker from the China App Store for being a "VPN app". We're going to appeal this.
We have no VPN servers. In fact, we don't route data traffic through any servers at all. Everything's done locally inside our network extension. pic.twitter.com/W46APCxwXF
— 1Blocker (@1BlockerApp) October 12, 2021
According to Apple, 1Blocker has to get a license because it has a VPN feature. Otherwise, it will not be available in the App Store. But the developers vehemently denied it. Stating that they do not offer VPN service to users, he reacted to Apple’s decision. 1Blocker is still available on the App Store of other countries, but is not available for Mac, iPhone and iPad in China.
1Blocker warns Apple before removing any software; however, he stated that he discriminated against them negatively and did not send a warning and that he was suddenly removed from the store. In addition, the developers, emphasizing that China is the second country where the application is downloaded the most, lamented that this market is very important for them.