Apple needs to increase its market share in China, but it shouldn't have bowed to the country's smartphone demands to do so.
By removingVPN applications from the iTunes App Store in China earlier this week, it helps the government stifle its residents' access to internet content it deems inappropriate, including news from around the world.
In particular, Apple's move makes it harder for Chinese residents to access Google, Twitter, Facebook and other services that are becoming essential for the free flow of information.
In China and other countries that block access to parts of the internet, people can use VPNs, or virtual private networks, to appear like they're accessing the internet from another location. A user in China, for example, might use a VPN to connect to a U.S. server in order to read U.S. news, browse Twitter or search Google.
VPNs also offer secure connections that are relatively safe from prying eyes.