Apple Inc said on Sunday that it is removing some unregulated VPN services from its App Store in China, as the country moves to "clean cyberspace."
"We have received a request to remove the VPN services that do not comply with the laws and regulations in China," read a Sunday statement from the company, news site thepaper.cn reported.
The statement added that the unregulated apps are being removed in the company's China App Store while their operations in other markets remain unaffected.
Also on Sunday, many VPN service providers based in China said they have received a notice from Apple to remove their service, tech news site 36kr.com reported.
China's cyber regulator announced on Tuesday that its regulation on VPNs issued in January would not affect the legal operations of companies and individuals.
Zhang Feng, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a press conference on Tuesday that to better regulate the Internet market, the MIIT issued a regulation in January to remove businesses which had set up or rented VPNs to carry out cross-border operations but failed to get the required approval or certification.
Zhang stressed that some foreign companies or multinational enterprises who need to use VPN for business purposes can rent special lines from telecommunication operators that legally provide such services, and that the regulation will not affect their normal operations.
In response to questions about the approval standards, Zhang said at the conference that all basic telecommunication operations, including VPN services, require government approval.