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The Russian News Agency TASS reported that Apple and Google have been asked by the Russian authorities to remove Telegram Messenger from their stores. The request has been made in April 17th after a court ordered four days earlier that Telegram be taken off, has the company issuing the app refused to comply with the FSB’s request. The FSB asked Telegram to share its data, a demand the company refused to accept. The Russian telecom watchdog sent a notification to users concerning the use of Telegram and issued a statement saying: “In order to anticipate Roskomnadzor’s likely response to the violations regarding the operation of the aforesaid Apple, Inc. services we are asking you to notify us within the tightest deadlines of the company’s further actions regarding the solution of these issues.”

Apple recently sent a message to all developers of apps on iOS that are available on the Chinese App Store. They informed them that they had to remove a tool called Callkit, that allows to implement VoIP calls into their app. Any app that uses Callkit is refused by apple for the Chinese market. The message stated: “Recently, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) requested that CallKit functionality be deactivated in all apps available on the China App Store.” Despite this announcement, VoIP is still allowed in China, but the ease of use of Callkit seems to be the issue. Some Human Rights activists suggest that even though China doesn’t want to officially ban VoIP, they want to make it more difficult to use. It is not the first time Apple had to comply with Chinese demands as they removed last year Microsoft’s Skype among other VoIP…

Negotiations started recently between Microsoft and Apple on one side, and UAE Telecoms controllers on the other, in order to check if the ban on Skype and FaceTime could be lifted. As Hamad Al Mansoori, head of the TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority), the “discussions are still ongoing”. According to arabic news Al Ittihad, those talks are a part of the two companies plan to extend their business in that part of the world. The goal of the UAE is to keep good relations with Microsoft and Apple, as the first is launching a data center in the UAE in order to cover the entire region. Etisalat and Emirates Integrated Communications have applications that offer similar features, called Botim and C’Me. Al Mansoori says that the number of people using those services are increasing. The main difference is that those apps are paid-for video applications. The telecoms in the UAE are…

The Irish government announced the signing with Apple of an agreement allowing the payment, in a blocked account, of 13 billion euros tax benefits deemed undue by the European Union.  In August 2017, the EU commission said a sweetheart deal devised by the Irish government had allowed Apple to pay tax of just 0.005% in 2014 and an average rate of 1% over many years. Brussels estimates that the US company has paid too little tax in Ireland because of a tax agreement with the country’s authorities, which would have allowed the Government to tax only a tiny part of the billions earned by Apple in Europe. Ireland is home to the European headquarters of Apple, which records all the profits made in this geographical area as well as in Africa, the Middle East and India. The 13 billion euros should be transferred to the blocked account by the end of the…

To compete with Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp as well as Apple’s iMessages, Google is looking for bold new ideas. They have had a number of failures in this area, having tried Talk, Hangouts and Allo! But for an American company, there’s no such thing as failure – there’s just the gaining of experience. Looking forward, Google will focus on delivering their new calling and messaging system called “Chat.” Chat aims to replace SMS, and uses the RCS protocol (Rich Communication Service) to achieve its goals. With Chat, users no longer need to download an application and keep that application updated, and the open-source nature of the RCS protocol will make this platform accessible to developers. According to The Verge media publication, more than 60 companies all over the world, including developers and operators such as Orange, Samsung and Asus have already committed to supporting Chat. For its part, Google promises…