There is a history of US Internet stars being humbled in China.
Yahoo a decade ago wound up having to make amends after going along with Chinese officials demanding help some identifying pro-democracy advocates who used Yahoo online message boards.
Microsoft has been doing business in China for some 20 years, staying within guidelines set by the government.
Seven years ago, Google pulled its search engine out of mainland China in a rare stand against censors and for Internet privacy.
“Google stood up and left, and now they aren’t a power in China,” Enderle said of the cost of the move.
However, the removal of VPN applications in China by Apple could ramp up the popularity of iPhone rivals powered by Google-backed Android software that lets people get apps from unofficial marketplaces.
Apple’s business model which requires users to install only approved applications, ironically, makes it easier for a regime like China to exert control, analysts point out.
Galperin and Kalia of the EFF said the Apple policy ‘creates a single chokepoint for free expression and privacy’.