Since the beginning of this year, Apple has ended up removing hundreds of thousands of apps from the Chinese App Store at the behest of the Chinese government. This included VPN apps that allowed users to bypass the Great Firewall and even popular apps like Skype. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, however, is optimistic that some of the removed apps would make their way back to the App Store.
Cook made this statement while speaking at the Fortune Forum in Guangzhou, China. Apple had to remove thousands of apps from the Chinese App Store due to a change in the government regulation that banned certain kind of apps. Apple was heavily criticised for this move as this move was seen by many as Apple bowing down to the Chinese government and blocking the freedom of expression. The Cupertino company was also criticised by u.S. senator Patrick Leahy for bowing down to Chinese suppression on freedom of expression and speech.
“My hope over time is that some of the things, the couple of things that’s been pulled, come back. I have great hope on that and great optimism on that,” Cook said, adding that he always tries to find areas to work together and if he gets criticized for that, so be it.
Cook also expressed his happiness on how well the iPhone X is doing in China. Additionally, the CEO said that the uniquity of Tencent — creator of the popular WeChat messaging app and platform in China — benefits Apple as it makes it easier and cheaper for WeChat users to switch from an Android device to an iPhone.
Tim Cook is currently visiting China to attend the World Internet Conference.