Apple has buckled to pressures from China and formally blocked any and all iPhone applications involving the Dalai Lama from reaching the Chinese App Store. As indicated in coverage by PC World on the matter, Apple is simply the "latest U.S. technology company to censor its services in China." Although many Apple fans at home and abroad are uncomfortable with Cupertino buckling to the demands of China, it seems business is business and China will get its way.
At least five iPhone apps related to the Dalai Lama are unavailable in the China store. Some of those apps -- named Dalai Quotes, Dalai Lama Quotes and Dalai Lama Prayerwheel -- display inspirational quotes from the Tibetan spiritual leader. Another, Paging Dalai Lama, tells users where he is currently teaching. A fifth app, Nobel Laureates, contains information about Nobel Prize winners including the Dalai Lama.
"Given that Apple has cooperated with China before (by not distributing games), it's of course very likely that it's Apple, not the developers, that are preventing certain apps from appearing," said one China-based app developer, who asked not to be named, in an e-mail. Games were not sold in the China App Store before recent months.
Although millions find Apple's pandering unfortunate, Cupertino is in good company. Both Yahoo and Google have also yielded to the demands of Chinese officials who constantly endeavor to restrict access to "sensitive political issues" and other information that China simply doesn't want its citizens to have access to.
Chinese authorities previously took aim at Apple last year during the Beijing Olympics, when the U.S. iTunes Music Store was blocked in China after it started selling a new collection of songs about Tibet. The U.S. iTunes Music Store and App Store are both currently accessible from Beijing.
Image via PC World