- James Clayton
- BBC North America Technology Correspondent
At the request of officials, Apple removed one of the world’s most popular Quran applications (also translated as Quran) in China.
The Quran Majeed app is sold in app stores around the world and has received nearly 150,000 consumer reviews. This program is used by millions of Muslims around the world.
According to the BBC, the reason for deleting the app was that it contained “illegal religious texts”.
The Chinese government did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.
The “Apple Censorship” website first noticed that the app had been deleted by Apple. This site is a global monitoring of the apps found in the Apple App Store.
“According to Apple, our Quran Majeed app has been removed from the Apple App Store used in China, because the app’s listing now requires additional information from the Chinese authorities. Document,” PDMS, the app’s maker, said in a statement.
“We are trying to contact the office of the China Cyber Security and Informatics Commission and relevant departments in order to solve this problem.”
The company said it has nearly one million users in China.
The Chinese Communist Party officially recognizes Islam as the country’s religion. However, China has been accused of violating the human rights of many Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and even accused of perpetrating ethnic genocide.
Earlier this year, the BBC reported that the imam, a Uyghur cleric, had been targeted in the Xinjiang crackdown.
Apple declined to comment on the matter, but did show the BBC its human rights policy, saying: “We have to abide by local laws, and sometimes we may disagree with the government on some complex issues.”
However, it is still not clear what rules the APP has violated in China. The Glorious Qur’an said it is “trusted by more than 35 million Muslim users around the world”.
Last month, both Apple and Google deleted a tactical voting app designed by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Russian authorities have threatened that if the two companies refuse to delete the app, they will be fined because the app tells users how to allow a ruling party candidate to lose the election.
China is one of Apple’s largest markets, and the company’s supply chain relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been accused of hypocrisy by US politicians because he sometimes expresses his views on US policy but remains silent on Chinese policy. Cook criticized Donald Trump’s ban on seven Muslim-majority countries in 2017.
However, Cook has also been accused of obeying Beijing in its censorship regime and has never publicly criticized the Chinese government’s treatment of Muslim minorities.
The New York Times reported earlier this year that Apple’s apps would be closed in China if the Chinese government deemed them a restricted area. Topics that the APP cannot discuss include the Tiananmen movement on June 4, Chinese religious activity Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, the independence of Tibet and Taiwan.
“At present, Apple has become the audit office in Beijing,” said Benjamin Ismail, Apple Review project manager.
“The company must do the right thing first, and then face any response from the Chinese government.”
Another popular religious app, The Olive Tree Bible (The Olive Tree Bible), has also been removed this week in China. The company told the BBC it had removed the app on its own.
“Our company was told during the app store review process that we need to provide a license to prove that apps we distribute in China with book or magazine content are licensed,” a company spokesperson said.
“Because we don’t have a license, and need to get China’s approval for our product updates and provide them to customers, we’ve removed our app from the Chinese app store,” he added.
Last Friday (October 15), “The Mac Observer” reported that the Amazon audiobook and podcast service “Audible” had been removed from the Apple Store in China last month due to “licensing requirements”. On the 14th, Microsoft also announced that it would close social functions for its Chinese social network LinkedIn (LinkedIn), saying that compliance with Chinese government regulations is becoming an increasing challenge.
This decision was made after LinkedIn, a professional networking site, blocked some journalists’ files, and they were subsequently questioned by all walks of life.
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