Why ConcurrentHashMap does NOT allow NULL keys and values?

The main reason that nulls aren't allowed in ConcurrentMaps (ConcurrentHashMaps, ConcurrentSkipListMaps) is that ambiguities that may be just barely tolerable in non-concurrent maps can't be accommodated. The main one is that if map.get(key) returns null, you can't detect whether the key explicitly maps to null vs the key isn't mapped. In a non-concurrent map, you can check this via map.contains(key), but in a concurrent one, the map might have changed between calls.

if (m.containsKey(k)) {
   return m.get(k);
} else {
   throw new KeyNotPresentException();
Since m is a concurrent map, key k may be deleted between the containsKey and get calls, causing this snippet to return a null that was never in the table, rather than the desired KeyNotPresentException.

Normally you would solve that by synchronizing, but with a concurrent map that of course won't work. Hence the signature for get had to change, and the only way to do that in a backwards-compatible way was to prevent the user inserting null values in the first place, and continue using that as a placeholder for "key not found".