China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible

Amazon's audiobook service Audible, and apps for smartphones for reading the holy books in Islam and Christianity have been removed from the Apple Store in China. This is the latest example of China's stricter rules regarding internet companies.

China crackdown on Apple store hits holy book apps, Audible

Amazon's audiobook service Audible, and apps for smartphones for reading the holy books in Islam and Christianity have been removed from the Apple Store in China. This is the latest example of China's stricter rules regarding internet companies.

Friday's announcement by Audible stated that its app was removed from the Apple Store in mainland China "due to permit requirements."

Apple's China-based store has removed the apps of the makers of apps that allow you to read and listen to the Quran and Bible, according to their request.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. The spokesperson for China's Embassy in the U.S. refused to comment on specific app removals, but stated that the Chinese government has "always encouraged the development and supported the Internet."

Liu Pengyu sent an email statement stating that "at the same time, development of the Internet China must also conform to Chinese laws and regulations."

China's government has always sought to regulate the flow of information online. This makes it difficult to identify the reasons for an app's deletion.

Chinese regulators have attempted to tighten data privacy. They also have greater control over how tech companies personalize and recommend content.

Over the summer, Duolingo, a popular U.S. language learning app, was removed from Apple's China Store. Audible and the religious apps seem to be linked by the fact that all were recently notified about publishing content permit requirements.

Pakistan Data Management Services, the company that makes the Quran Majeed app said it is waiting for more information from China's internet authorities about how it can again be restored. According to the Karachi-based company, the app has more than 1 million users in China and 40 million globally.

Hasan Shafiq Ahmed (head of growth and relationships at the company) said that those who have already downloaded the app may still use it.

He said that he was looking into what documentation is required to obtain approval from Chinese authorities to restore the app.

After learning that the app had to be removed from China's Apple Store, the maker of the Bible app, Olive Tree Bible Software, Spokane, Washington said that it is now reviewing the requirements for obtaining the permit. "With the hope that we can restore the app to China's App Store, and continue to distribute The Bible worldwide," said the company.

CAIR's national deputydirector Edward Ahmed Mitchell stated that "This decision must not be reversed." "If American corporations don’t have a spine now and stand up against China, they will spend the next century subservient the the will of a fascist superpower."

AppleCensorship is a watchdog website that monitors Apple's App Store to detect apps being blocked in countries like China and other authoritarian regimes.

Audible, owned by Amazon, said that it does not offer a dedicated service to Chinese customers, unlike LinkedIn.

Updated Date: 16 October 2021, 15:07

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