Apple censors Dalai Lama iPhone apps in China

Year-End Clearance & Tax Saving Sale “Apple appears to have blocked iPhone applications related to the Dalai Lama in its China App Store, making it the latest U.S. technology company to censor its services in China,” Owen Fletcher reports for IDG News Service.

“Those apps, which appear in most countries’ versions of the App Store, do not currently appear in the Chinese version,” Fletcher reports. “Another app related to Rebiya Kadeer, who like the Dalai Lama is an exiled minority leader reviled by China’s authorities, is unavailable in the China App Store as well. The apparent censorship comes after carrier China Unicom launched iPhone sales two months ago, making regulatory approval of the phone’s contents in the country necessary for the first time. ‘We continue to comply with local laws,’ Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in an e-mail when asked about the missing apps. ‘Not all apps are available in every country.'”

“Chinese officials condemn the Dalai Lama as a dangerous ‘splittist’ seeking to separate Tibet from China, and have called him a ‘devil with a human face,'” Fletcher reports. “The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed an uprising in the capital city of Lhasa, solidifying Chinese control there. The religious figure remains widely revered by Tibetans.”

“Apple joins other U.S. technology giants including Yahoo and Google that have come under fire for complying with Chinese government demands on sensitive political issues. Human rights advocates criticized Yahoo when Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, landed a 10-year prison sentence in 2005 partly because of e-mail evidence gained from his private Yahoo account. Yahoo said it was obeying Chinese law by handing the evidence to authorities,” Fletcher reports. “Google has been criticized for offering a censored version of its search engine for China at, which blocks pornographic and some politically sensitive search results. Google has similarly said it must follow local laws and regulations.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Is this right? No.

    Would it make any difference to how things run in the PRC if it weren’t the case? No.

    The simple fact is that the Chinese people are bombarded by the bias in their own state-run media and are, as a result, developing a juvenile arrogance with regards to how they believe their country should be perceived internationally.

    In short, the vast majority of the population who could afford an iPhone are far too busy enjoying their newly established prosperity to care about the fate of Tibet or any of the supressed ethnic or religious minorities in the PRC and the West – including the ever-pragmatic former President Clinton – made a genuine mistake in giving so much to the PRC without concessions on many important human rights issues.

  2. Come on, on step at a time. Give a little and let the iPhone with the soon to be data hungry owners start to crack the wall.
    The more iPhones with added soon to be added wifi will start to find and seek out all the stuff the government bans. Then the truth will slowly come out.

    The Trojan horse has landed in China and it is the iPhone.

  3. The Chinese Government is Communist.

    The Chinese people are happy, little, open market capitalists who look upon their government as an anachronistic bureaucracy that is fated to eventual, gradual change.

    I’m sure that even Mao must have said that The Great Wall wasn’t built in a day.

  4. Okay MCCFR, it wouldn’t make a difference to the masses really, so forget principles. AND let’s dig up another criticism of President Clinton while you’re at it, so little has happened regarding China in the last ten years. Is this a dusty Fox News talking point or what?

  5. To all posters above:

    Look around, ladies and gentlemen. How many of you DO NOT have a Chinese-made product staring you in the face and within reach? None of you, that’s how many.

    The overwhelming majority of flat screen TVs, radios, tableware, drywall, toys, computers, clothing, cameras, etc., etc., etc., are made in the PRC. Have you purchased NONE of these objects in the past couple of decades? Have you somehow remained an economic island, free from the corruptions of Asian socialist corruption?

    Be honest: Have YOU not contributed to the rise of this dictatorship PERSONALLY with your rampant consumerism? Is our government not being propped up artificially by this very country you’re so holier-than?

    The hypocrisy on this site today (and specifically in this thread) is mind-boggling. Grow up, MDNers. The only thing you have to lose is the chains of your immaturity.

  6. You nailed that hard. So much is made for “us” in China because labor is so cheap due to their much lower standards of living. I’ve often said that slavery is still very much alive and well. All we’ve really done is simply outsource it to China.

  7. I live in Canada and I can’t buy or download the same music, videos/movies, TV shows and/or apps that are available on the US iTunes store.

    I do have a US iTunes account via a US Gift Certificate so I could pick up more content. However, most of the radio/tv/communication apps don’t work or are blocked locally.

    The same happens for our cousins in Boston with their Canadian acquired apps.

    The Chinese just celebrated their 60th anniversary. If you want to see oppression, best you check out the previous regimes. Today, capitalism is flourishing, the people are better fed, clothed, housed and have full access to free health care.

    It took the US nearly 2 hundred years before all woman and men were constitutionally allowed to vote. And still 30 or so million Americans have minimal access to affordable health care, but worse, nearly half of the American population don’t care if they ever have.

  8. Funny how some people will condemn Apple for caving in to a Communist regime, but continue to buy the products manufactured in that same Communist country, therefor indirectly supporting them.

    If these issues really offend them, then they should refrain from buying anything made in China, including those products of Apple. And for sure never set foot in a Walmart.

    Boy, if Nixon only knew what he was going to initiate.

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