HONG KONG (NEWSnet/AP) — Apple said it had removed Meta’s WhatsApp messaging app and its Threads social media app from App Store in China.

The apps were removed Friday after China officials cited unspecified security issues.

“The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns,” Apple said. “We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree.

Other Meta apps, including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, remain available for download, although use of such foreign apps is blocked in China

Removal comes amid elevated tension between the U.S. and China over trade, technology and national security. U.S. has threatened to ban TikTok, owned by China technology firm ByteDance. Apps like WhatsApp and Threads are not used widely in China. 

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