LAHORE: US multinational technology company Apple has put an end to Quran Majeed, a popular app for reading the Islamic religious book and other information, in China, in compliance with Chinese government requests.
According to a report by BBC, this move comes as part of a bigger shift in China to crack down on foreign content, or simply making it harder for that content to exist within the Great Firewall, Chinese internet regulator.
Just yesterday, LinkedIn said that it would be removing the Chinese version of its website by the end of this year in the face of growing compliance requirements by the Chinese government.
The Quran Majeed app – used by millions of Muslims – is still available across the globe on Apple’s App Store, and on Google Play — although Google Play is technically also not available in China.
On the other hand, PDMS, the company which made Quran Majeed app, said in a statement: “According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App Store because it includes content that is illegal.”
The company said app removal had close to one million users in China. “We are trying to get in touch with relevant Chinese authorities to get this issue resolved”.
The Apple Censorship website, which monitors apps on Apple’s App Store, was the first to notice that Quran Majeed was recently deleted in China.
China officially recognizes Islam as a religion but it has also faced criticism for human rights violations against the Muslim-majority Uyghur population in its Xinjiang area.
Quran Majeed is not the only app to face removal from China’s Apple App Store. Olive Tree’s Bible App was also withdrawn in China this week. Olive Tree claims that Apple proactively took it down.