Reuters: Some keyboard apps removed from Chinese App Store over 'violations of personal data collection rules'

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What you need to know

  • Reuters says some keyboard apps have been removed from the Chinese App Store over rule violations.
  • Apps from Sogou and Iflytek are said to have been removed..

A new Reuters report says that multiple apps from Sogou and Iflytek have been removed from the Chinese App Store because they broke rules over data collection.

While Reuters doesn't say exactly which apps were removed, it notes that they are all "input method apps" that serve as virtual keyboards. One of the two companies impacted says that it's already working to get everything back in order.

Iflytek said in a statement that the app was removed due to violations of personal data collection rules, and it already completed the "rectification" and was currently waiting for approval from the regulators.

Apple has long had a complicated relationship with China and the apps that operate within its borders. The Reuters piece doesn't make it clear whether the rules broken were Apple's, or those of the Chinese state. It also notes that Android apps have also been removed – specifically those in stores operated by Huawei.

China recently sought to limit the scope of the data mobile apps collect and it's possible these keyboards fell foul of those new rules.

I checked one Sogou keyboard that appears to still be in the Chinese App Store although I wasn't able to download it because I don't have a Chinese App Store account so it isn't immediately obvious whether this is one of the apps Retuers is reporting on.

We'll keep an eye on the original Reuters report in case more clarification is added in the coming hours and update this post accordingly.

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.