DHARAMSHALA, April 9: The Apple Inc. has removed Hao Peiqiang's app 'Jingdian Shucheng' which offers access to ten books via iPhone and iPad from the App Store.
According to the Financial Times, Hao said he received a letter from Apple informing him that his software would be deleted from China's App Store since it contained content deemed 'illegal' in China.
In the letter to Hao, Apple stressed that developers need to comply to Apple's review guideline. Section 22 of the App Store Review Guidelines states, "Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer's obligation to understand and conform to all local laws."
However, the app is still listed for US customers on the iTunes but the Hao's name is not listed as the creator and the three Tibet-related books are not shown in the screenshots.
Hao suspects three of the books titled Burial, Yellow Peril and Western Regions East Territories, which are all related to Tibet and authored by Wang Lixiong, a controversial Chinese writer and Tibet expert, are the cause for the removal of his app.
Wang is married to Tsering Woeser, the famous Tibetan author, blogger and public intellectual based in Beijing.
"Friends of mine tells me that Apple has had a censorship policy in place for at least two years so I'm not sure if my app's removal has anything to do with Apple's recent trouble," said Mr Hao. "But the app has been operating normally for the last two months until now without any problems."
In a statement released last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized to the company's customers in China for its after-sales service policy outlining changes in order to appease its Chinese users after a series of negative state media reports.
"The apology over customer service was seen as a move by Apple to soothe relations and show willingness to adopt Chinese business practices to help its growth," said the British daily The Telegraph. "But by bowing to Chinese government censorship demands, Apple risks criticism at home. Western web companies have found it impossible to operate in China, in part because of accusations of collusion in political suppression."
Jingdian Shucheng is a bookstore application that allows users to download and read 10 Chinese classic e-books.