Bible and Quran Apps Removed from Apple App Store for China

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Under pressure from Chinese law, a digital Bible firm has removed its app from offerings in Apple’s China app store, while Apple itself has removed a Quran app from its store in China at the same time. Chinese officials request.

22 October 2021

Screenshot of an Apple phone. (Unsplash Photo / William Hook)


By Kevin J. Jones

Under pressure from Chinese law, a digital Bible firm has removed its app from offerings in Apple’s China app store, while Apple itself has removed a Quran app from its store in China at the same time. Chinese officials request.

“Olive Tree Bible Software was advised during the App Store review process that we are required to provide a license demonstrating our authorization to distribute an app with book or magazine content in Mainland China,” said the company at BBC News.

“Since we didn’t have the license and needed to get our app update approved and distributed to customers, we removed our Bible app from the Chinese App Store,” he said.

Olive Tree Bible Software’s work on digital versions of Bibles dates back decades. Its founder, Drew Haninger, developed Bible programs for the Palm Pilot and other early mobile devices in the late 1990s. He also offers various Bible translations. The Spokane-based company’s website lists several Catholic English-language editions of the Bible, although it indicates that some versions are not available for purchase.

Similar difficulties in the app store have plagued a company that produces a digital version of the Quran.

Quran Majeed, produced by Pakistan Data Management Services, claims a total of 35 million users, including one million in China. The company said that, according to Apple, the app has been removed from Apple’s app store in China “because it includes content that requires further documentation from Chinese authorities.” The company said it was working to contact the China Cyberspace Administration and relevant Chinese officials to resolve the issue.

Apple declined to comment to the BBC, noting its human rights statement: “We are required to comply with local laws, and sometimes there are complex issues that we can disagree with governments on. ” Religious organizations are strictly regulated by Chinese law, and Christian clergy may be subject to legal penalties if they fail to register with the government or if they engage in unauthorized activities or act in a manner that allegedly infringes. to national unity. –ANC



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