Apple takes down popular Koran app in China after it allegedly hosted illegal texts

Apple has taken down a popular Koran app in China after it allegedly hosted ‘illegal religious texts,’ though the developer claims China needs ‘additional documentation’ to restore the app.

The Quran Majeed app was reportedly removed for ‘hosting illegal religious texts,’ according to the BBC, which first reported the news. 

However, the app’s maker, Pakistan Data Management Services, told via email:  

Apple took down a popular Koran app in China after it allegedly hosted ‘illegal religious texts’

The Quran Majeed app is used by nearly 40 millions of Muslims across the globe

The Quran Majeed app is used by nearly 40 millions of Muslims across the globe

‘Quran Majeed app was removed from the China Appstore. Apple advised us to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

‘As per our understanding, Chinese law requires additional documentation for some apps to be available on the App Store in China mainland.

‘We are trying to get in touch with CAC and relevant Chinese authorities to move forward so Quran Majeed app can be restored in China App store as we have close to a million users in China that have been impacted.’

The Quran Majeed app has nearly 145,000 reviews, according to the apps page and is used by nearly 40 millions of Muslims across the globe, the developer told 

Apple Censorship, which describes itself as a website that ‘helps to illustrate how Apple’s practices impact the fundamental rights of access to information and privacy for millions of citizens’ around the world, was the first to notice that the app was deleted.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, condemned the action in a statement obtained by

‘By obeying the Chinese Communist Party’s order to remove Bible and Quran apps from its platform in China, Apple is enabling China’s religious persecution, including the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims,’ CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said.

‘This decision must be reversed. 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.’

Apple and the Chinese government have not yet responded to requests for comment from 

Apple told the app's maker to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China

Apple told the app’s maker to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China

According to the International Institute for Asian Studies, Islam is recognized in China, a country that has more than 25 million Muslims, making it one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. 

However, the Chinese government has been lambasted by the international community for accusations of human rights abuse.

In March, the U.S. joined the U.K., Europe and Canada to sanction certain Chinese officials over ‘serious human rights abuses’ of Uyghur Muslims. 

At the G7 meeting, held in June, leaders of these nations called out ‘human rights abuses and violations of fundamental freedoms’ in a communique. 

Following that, the Chinese embassy in London blasted the joint statement, calling it ‘slander.’ 

China is a peace-loving country that advocates cooperation, but also has its bottom lines, the embassy said.

‘China’s internal affairs must not be interfered in, China’s reputation must not be slandered, and China’s interests must not be violated,’ it added.

‘We will resolutely defend our national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and resolutely fight back against all kinds of injustices and infringements imposed on China.’

China’s embassy said the G7 should do more that is conducive to promoting international cooperation instead of artificially creating confrontation and friction.

‘We urge the United States and other members of the G7 to respect the facts, understand the situation, stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests.’

In June, Apple was accused of censoring 27 LGBTQ+ apps in China, a claim the tech giant has vigorously denied. 

Apple has been accused of bending to the Chinese government over the years, removing certain apps that violate local laws.

In 2017, it removed Skype for violations of local laws. Two years later, it removed the Taiwanese flag from its emoji keyboard in Hong Kong and Macau

Last year, it removed thousands of games from the Chinese App Store as they were not approved by the government. 

Earlier this year, it was reported that the data of Apple device users in China was being managed at a data center in Guiyang and in the Inner Mongolia region, allowing the Chinese government to access personal data of residents. 

This summer, Apple said its new iOS 15 ‘Private Relay’ feature, which is designed to mask users’ internet browsing, would not be available in China because of regulatory reasons. 

Topics banned included Tiananmen Square, independence for Tibet and Taiwan.

This comes despite CEO Tim Cook’s vow to protect civil liberties which saw the release of a controversial new privacy controls in April that require iPhone users to give permission for apps to track their activity.

In its its most recent quarterly results, Apple generated $14.76 billion in revenue from Greater China (which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan), up from $9.32 billion in the year-ago period.

In 2017, Apple named Isabel Ge Mahe as Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, reporting directly to COO Jeff Williams and Cook.