Skype iOS and Android apps are no longer available to download in China

Laurent Giret

According to a report from the New York Times, the Skype iOS and Android apps have gone missing from the iOS App Store and popular third-party Android app stores in China. The mobile apps reportedly disappeared last month from local app stores, leading many Chinese users to complain on Internet message boards.

Speaking about Skype’s disappearance from Apple’s app store, an Apple spokeswoman told the New York Times today that “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. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China.” A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that the app has been “temporarily removed” from the iOS App Store, adding that the company was “working to reinstate the app as soon as possible.”

Microsoft didn’t address that the fact that Skype has also disappeared from third-party Android app stores from Huawei or Xiaomi (Google’s Play Store isn’t available in China). As you may know, it’s quite difficult for foreign messaging services to operate in the country, and popular services like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram are all blocked in China. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will be able to work with the Chinese authorities to reinstate the app, but Skype appears to be still working in China at the time of this working.