China pulls Tripadvisor and 104 other apps from app stores in the country

Tripadvisor Large Logo
Tripadvisor Large Logo (Image credit: Tripadvisor)

What you need to know

  • China says that it has removed 105 apps from mobile app stores within the country.
  • One of those apps is Tripadvisor, but it isn't clear why.

China says that it has removed Tripadvisor and another 104 apps from local app stores in what it calls a "clean up" of 'illegal" apps on the internet.

In a statement picked up by CNN, the Cyberspace Administration of China said that it had removed 105 apps in total, going on to note that it will continue to ". strengthen the supervision and inspection of mobile apps' information services, promptly clean up and dispose of illegal mobile applications and application stores, and strive to create a clear cyberspace."

It isn't clear to anyone outside of China why it would take umbrage with the trip-planning app, but it's notable that the Tripadvisor website is still accessible without the use of a VPN or other method of bypassing the "Great Firewall" that Chinese users sit behind.

CNN reached out to Tripadvisor to see if is aware of the app's removal and if so, why it fell foul of Chinese laws. The company hadn't responded a the time of publication, however.

This of course isn't the first time China has removed apps like this, or indeed had others do the work instead. But there has usually been a reason that's clear and easy to understand – even if those outside China don't agree with it. Until we find out why Tripadvisor has gone walkabout, we'll have to assume this was either a mistake, or the app was doing something it shouldn't have.

Hopefully, we'll get clarification as to which of those it was soon enough.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.