Popular Bible, Quran Apps Deleted From Apple’s Chinese App Store After Government Pressure: REPORT

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Ailan Evans Deputy Editor
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Popular Bible and Quran apps were deleted from Apple’s Chinese app store this week following pressure from Chinese authorities, according to multiple reports.

Both Bible App, a bible study app manufactured by Olive Tree, and Quran Majeed, developed by PDMS, were removed from Apple’s Chinese app store on Tuesday, according to Apple Censorship, a website that tracks the removal of apps from the App Store. Apple confirmed to the PDMS that it deleted Quran Majeed from its Chinese App Store.

“According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App Store because it includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the (Cyberspace Administration of China), which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines,” said Hasan Shafiq Ahmed, head of growth at PDMS, according to Business Insider. “We are trying to get in touch with (Cyberspace Administration of China) 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.

Apple did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. (RELATED: REPORT: Apple Working With Chinese Government To Censor And Surveil Its Citizens)

TOPSHOT - China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin smile during the welcoming ceremony on the final day of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 27, 2019. - Chinese President Xi Jinping urged dozens of world leaders on April 27 to reject protectionism and invited more countries to participate in his global infrastructure project after seeking to ease concerns surrounding the programme. (Photo by Valery SHARIFULIN / Sputnik / AFP) (Photo by VALERY SHARIFULIN/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin smile during the welcoming ceremony on the final day of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 27, 2019. (Photo by VALERY SHARIFULIN/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Olive Tree told the Daily Caller News Foundation it withdrew its app from Apple’s Chinese App Store as the company was not authorized by China 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. “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.”

“We are currently reviewing the requirements to obtain the necessary permit with the hope that we can restore our app to China’s App Store and continue to distribute the Bible worldwide,” the spokesperson added.

Apple is alleged to have ties to forced labor programs overseen by China involving the Uyghur Muslim minority in the country’s Xinjiang province. The company has repeatedly lobbied Congress on a bill that would bar American firms from using Chinese slave labor.

“By obeying the Chinese Communist Party’s order to remove Bible and Quran apps from its platform in China, Apple is enabling China’s religious persecution, including the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, deputy national director of the Council on American-Islamic relations, said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This decision must be reversed. If American corporations don’t grow a spine and stand up to China right now, they risk spending the next century subservient to the whims of a fascist superpower.”

The removal of the apps followed LinkedIn’s decision to shut down its social media services in China, citing increased regulations from the Chinese government.

Apple, along with Google, deleted an app linked to Russian dissident Alexei Navalny at the behest of the Russian government.

The Cyberspace Administration of China did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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