The company deleted the app at the request of government officials, which is unusual given that Islam is a protected religion in the People’s Republic of China.
According to the app developer, Pakistan Data Management Services, Quran Majeed is free and recognized by 25 million Muslim users throughout the world. According to Apple, our app has been taken from the China Program Store because it includes content that is illegal. The app’s removal had nothing to do with its religious content. The company claims it is currently working with China’s Cyberspace Administration to fix the problem.
Apple Censorship, a website that monitors programs on Apple’s App Store throughout the world, was the first to discover the app’s removal.
According to BBC, in a statement from the app’s maker, PDMS, the company said: “According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App store because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities”.
“We are trying to get in touch with the Cyberspace Administration of China and relevant Chinese authorities to get this issue resolved”.
The company said it had close to one million users in China. The Chinese Communist Party officially recognizes Islam as a religion in the country. Although, the Chinese government has not responded to the BBC’s request for comment. Recently, Apple also removed Fortnite from its App Store
In any case, Apple is in a tough situation. It is dependent on the sales and commercial ties it establishes in China. Taking a strong position against the government may jeopardize this.
Microsoft also shuts down the local edition of LinkedIn in China, noting separately that complying with Chinese government requests is proving increasingly challenging. Apple hasn’t discovered that balance yet, and given how dependent it is on China to run its iPhone business, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.
A few months ago, a software engineer claimed to detect emotions via cameras installed in the police station of a province, Xinjiang that was considered as inhumane act, completely unethical. However, the Chinese embassy in London completely denies about the situation and didn’t respond to any question about emotional recognition software in Xinjiang.
Benjamin Ismail, project director at Apple Censorship, said, “Currently Apple is being turned into the censorship bureau of Beijing.”
“They need to do the right thing, and then face whatever the reaction is of the Chinese government.”
Another popular religious app, Olive Tree’s Bible app, was also taken down this week in China. The company told the BBC they had removed the app themselves.