wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Quran and Bible apps removed by Apple at the behest of Chinese authorities

In China, a Quran app and a Bible app are no longer available after getting flagged for breaking laws on illegal religious texts.

“We are trying to get in touch with CAC and relevant Chinese authorities to get this issue resolved as we had close to a million users for our app in China that have been impacted,” Hasan Shafiq Ahmed, head of growth at Pakistan Data Management (PDMS), told Business Insider. PDMS’ app Quran Majeed is one of the two apps that have been taken off Apple’s App Store in compliance with Chinese government requests, according to Apple Censorship, an activist-led website tracking the app store worldwide.

While the Chinese government keeps a close eye on the internet through strict controls over online speech and content, it is also known for targeting the country’s religious minorities, particularly the Uyghur Muslim community. In this context, government requests to take down the apps raise further concerns around religious persecution in China.

Why were the apps taken down?

In a statement, PDMS told the BBC that the app was removed as they did not have the requisite documentation. As for the Bible App by Olive Tree, a spokesperson told BBC that they removed the app themselves after Apple flagged their lack of permit to ‘distribute an app with book or magazine content’. “Since we did not have the permit and needed to get our app update approved and out to customers, we removed our Bible app from China’s App Store,” a spokesperson is quoted saying.

On Google’s Play Store, the Quran Majeed app has over 5 million downloads while the Bible App has just over 1 million.

Apple compromises when it comes to China

In June, an investigation by the New York Times had found that Apple readily complies with Chinese government orders, keeping in mind its business and manufacturing interests in the country.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Apple has created an internal bureaucracy that rejects or removes apps the company believes could run afoul of Chinese rules. Apple trains its app reviewers and uses special software to inspect apps for any mention of topics Apple has deemed off limits in China, including Tiananmen Square, the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, and independence for Tibet and Taiwan,” the report said.

China has also been cracking down on technology firms in an attempt to curb their influence: WeChat or Weixin (as it is known in China) suspended registrations of new official and personal accounts on its platform in July. In a statement to Reuters, it said that this was because the company was currently upgrading its security technology to align with “all relevant laws and regulations.”

In the same month, the Cyberspace Administration of China ordered app stores to remove ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, the most popular ride-hailing app in China, citing serious violations in the collection and usage of personal data.

Recently, Microsoft announced that it would be withdrawing its professional networking website from China, citing difficulties in complying with Chinese authorities. Amazon’s Audible app was also withdrawn from the App Store on October 15, citing permit requirements.

Also read:

Have something to add? Post your comment and gift someone a MediaNama subscription.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover health technology for MediaNama, among other things. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.


Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.


The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ