Officials requested that Apple remove one of China’s most downloaded Quran apps.

Quran Majeed can be downloaded from the App Store and is currently available in over 100 countries. It has almost 150,000 user reviews. This app is loved by millions of Muslims.

BBC understood that the app had been removed because it contained illegal religious text.

BBC has yet to receive a response from the Chinese government.

Apple Censorship was the first to notice that this app had been deleted. This website monitors all apps in Apple’s App store globally.

PDMS issued a statement saying that Apple had removed Quran Majeed’s app from China App Store due to its content which requires further documentation from Chinese authorities.

“We’re trying to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China (or any other Chinese authority) to resolve this matter.”

According to the company, it has close to one million Chinese users.

The Chinese Communist Party has officially recognized Islam as a religion within the country.

China is accused of violating human rights and genocide against the majority Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang.

The BBC earlier this year reported that Uyghur Imams were targeted by China’s Xinjiang crackdown.

Apple refused to comment but directed BBC to the BBC’s Human Rights Policy. It states that “we are required to obey local laws and sometimes there are complicated issues over which we may differ with governments.”

The app’s actions in China are not known. Quran Majeed states that the app is trusted worldwide by “over 35 million Muslims”.

Apple and Google took down a tactic voting app that Alexei Navalny (an opposition leader in Russia) had created last month.

Russian authorities threatened to punish the companies if the apps were not dropped. The app told its users which candidates could be elected to the top of the Russian government.

China is Apple’s most important market. The company’s supply chains are heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing.

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook was criticised by US politicians for speaking out against American politics while remaining silent about China.

Donald Trump’s decision to ban seven Muslim-majority nations in 2017 was criticised by Cook

But he was also accused of being complicit with China’s censorship policies – but not for publicly criticizing its treatment of Muslim minority communities.

The New York Times published an earlier report this year that Apple would remove apps from China, if they were deemed unacceptable by the Chinese government. The topics that cannot be discussed by apps include Tiananmen, Falungong, Chinese spiritual movement Falun, the Dalai Lama and the independence of Tibet and Taiwan.

Benjamin Ismail (project director, Apple Censorship) stated that Apple was currently being transformed into Beijing’s censorship office.

They must do what is right and face the Chinese government’s reaction.

Olive Tree’s Bible app was another popular religious app that was taken down in China. According to the company, they removed the app.

Olive Tree Bible Software was told during the AppStore review process that it must present a permit showing our authorisation to distribute an app with content from books or magazines in China,” said a spokesperson.

“We removed China’s AppStore Bible app because we didn’t have the necessary permit. We needed to update our app to be approved by customers.”

The Mac Observer reported Friday that Audible (Amazon’s audiobook service and podcast platform) removed its application from Apple’s mainland China store last month due to “permit requirements.”

Microsoft announced Thursday that it would shut down LinkedIn in China as compliance with Chinese laws had become more difficult.

After some questions from career-networking sites about blocking profiles of journalists, the decision was taken.


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