China’s App Store has banned Wiper, the mobile messaging service that allows users to delete messages, after it added the ability to send bitcoin. Wiper announced its bitcoin functionality slightly more than a month ago.
“We were removed from the iOS online app store in China due to violating that app store's policies.” Manlio Carelli, Wiper’s CEO, told CCN.
“A rep from Apple explained to us by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.”
Wiper contacted Apple after receiving a removal notice through its iTunes Connect developer account. “We received a very helpful explanation of the rationale by phone, after inquiring as to why we were removed,” Carelli said.
China's murky relationship with bitcoin
Carelli continued: “The issue seems to be the unclear state of bitcoin in China. A lot of companies seem to perceive bitcoin payments as a sensitive area in China. However, some bitcoin companies are doing business in China. We understand Apple's position with respect to this. We hope to bring our full service to China as the situation around crypto there becomes clear.”
The App Store continues to be an important outlet for Wiper.
“Apple has and continues to be amazing to work with in operating their App Store. The Wiper app is otherwise available globally for download wherever the iOS App Store operates. Wiper has also been translated into more than 20 languages.”
Wiper saw cryptocurrency as a natural add-on to its messenger service. Users can conduct financial transactions quickly, globally and inexpensively. Users can have a secure bitcoin wallet by activating the bitcoin function with a couple of taps. They can send and receive bitcoin outside of Wiper through public keys or a QR code. They can also view their bitcoin transaction history and wallet balance.
Wiper brings unique features
Wiper, based in New York City, launched its mobile messaging service to the public last June. It offers the ability to delete messages from other users’ smartphones and control how long the messages remain in the messaging system.
To ensure privacy, Wiper encrypts calls and there is no call log. Messages are erased instantly by tapping the touchscreen. Other features control how long messages remain. Wiper alerts the user when a friend snaps a screenshot or forwards a photo or video.