As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen elsewhere the world, reports from initially afflicted China have improved — seemingly thanks to a coordinated medical response, but possibly also because of a government censorship campaign.
Once again, and perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, Apple finds itself in the middle of a Chinese censorship controversy, this time for pulling an app citizens were using to share coronavirus news within the country.
Still available outside of China, Huiyu Wang’s Boom – Text Encryption Keyboard app was specifically designed to encrypt text messages, chats, and articles and to decrypt received texts.
The New York-based Chinese developer also noted that his “multiple social media accounts [have] been removed,” as well as an unrelated wallpaper app he developed, seemingly as a punitive measure.
Apple has cooperated with Chinese government app takedown requests on multiple occasions, removing VPNs, software used to track police activity related to Hong Kong protests, a virus-related game, and apps on various other topics.

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