Advertisement
Monday, May 23, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

China Crackdown On Apple Store Hits Holy Book Apps, Audible

Audible said Friday that it removed its app from the Apple store in mainland China last month “due to permit requirements.”

China Crackdown On Apple Store Hits Holy Book Apps, Audible
China Crackdown On Apple Store Hits Holy Book Apps, Audible
outlookindia.com
2021-10-16T13:07:11+05:30

China’s government has long sought to control the flow of information online, but is increasingly stepping up its enforcement of the internet sector in other ways, making it hard to determine the causes for a particular app’s removal.

Chinese regulators this year have sought to strengthen data privacy restrictions and limit how much time children can play video games. They are also exerting greater control over the algorithms used by tech firms to personalize and recommend content.

The popular U.S. language-learning app Duolingo disappeared from Apple’s China store over the summer, as have many video game apps. What appears to link Audible with the religious apps is that all were recently notified of permit requirements for published content.

Pakistan Data Management Services, which makes the Quran Majeed app, said it is awaiting more information from China’s internet authority about how it can be restored. The app has nearly 1 million users in China and about 40 million worldwide, said the Karachi-based company.

Those who had already downloaded the app can still use it, said Hasan Shafiq Ahmed, the company’s head of growth and relationships.

“We are looking to figure out what documentation is needed to get approval from Chinese authorities so the app can be restored,” he said in an email.

The maker of a Bible app said it removed it from the Apple store in China after learning from Apple’s App Store review process that it needed special permission to distribute an app with “book or magazine content.” Olive Tree Bible Software, based in Spokane, Washington, said it’s now 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 Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Apple’s actions, saying the company was enabling China’s religious persecution of Muslims and others.

“This decision must be reversed,” said a statement from CAIR’s national deputy director, Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “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 removals were first detected this week by watchdog website AppleCensorship, which monitors Apple’s app store to detect when apps have been blocked, especially in China and other countries with authoritarian governments.

This week, Microsoft said that it would shut down its main LinkedIn service in China later this year, citing a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”

Unlike LinkedIn, which has been offering a specialized Chinese service since 2014, Amazon-owned Audible said it does not have a dedicated service for customers in China.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement