Apple, the U.S.-based BigTech giant, showed its complicity with the Chinese Communist regime in the religious persecution of its citizens by giving in to pressure to remove apps with biblical and Koranic content.
Several reports confirmed that during the last week the most popular religious apps in China were removed from the Apple Store at the request and pressure of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Both Bible App, a Bible study app made by Olive Tree, and Quran Majeed, developed by PDMS, were removed from Apple’s Chinese app store on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
The move was originally exposed by Apple Censorship, a website dedicated to tracking and reporting on apps removed from Apple’s store.
“With @Apple, all religions are equal : Both Bible and Quran apps were recently removed from China’s,” a message from Apple Censorship on Twitter on Tuesday read.
Quran Majeed is available worldwide and is used daily by millions of Muslims who practice their Faith. China was no exception, until a few days ago.
PDMS, the maker of the app, spoke to the BBC and 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,” they added.
While the CCP officially recognizes Islam as a religion, reports abound indicating persecution of its followers. Especially the Uyghur Muslims of the Xinjiang region, who are victims of a real genocide by the communist regime.
For its part, Olive Tree, the maker of the Bible App Bible study app, said its app was removed from Apple’s Chinese app store because the company was not authorized by the regime to distribute its content.
“Olive Tree Bible Software was informed during the App Store review process that we are required to provide a permit demonstrating our authorization to distribute an app with book or magazine content in mainland China,” a company spokesperson said.
Apple has deepened its relationship with the Chinese regime over the past few years after gaining entry into the Asian market.
Apple is even alleged to have ties to Chinese-supervised forced labor programs involving the Uighur Muslim minority in the country’s Xinjiang province.
Colorado Republican Representative Ken Buck sent a letter in June 2021 to Apple CEO Tim Cook detailing the company’s human rights record and incidents over the past year and requesting clarification on allegations linking Apple to forced labor in China.
The New York Times reported earlier this year that Apple removes apps in China if the Chinese government deems them banned. Topics that the apps cannot discuss include Tiananmen Square, the Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, and the independence of Tibet and Taiwan.
Prior to the removal of the apps, LinkedIn’s decision to shut down its social networking services in China had been publicized, citing increased pressure from the Chinese regime to establish guidelines and censorship.