Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday defended his company’s decision to stop offering special apps that let Chinese users circumvent the country’s internet restrictions.

The recent removal of some VPN apps from Apple’s App Store in China has prompted criticism, with some accusing Apple of bowing to pressure from Beijing and placing its business interests above its values.

VPN, or virtual private network, apps allow users to connect directly and securely to the internet, bypassing the filters that the Chinese government uses to block certain sites (including Google, YouTube, and Facebook).