In China, and interested in the Dalai Lama? There’s no app for that.
What disappointing (but somehow not surprising) news for those, like me, who support the Dalai Lama and also love their iPhone. Apple — which famously used the image of His Holiness in its “Think Different” campaign, back in the day — has seen fit to censor Dalai Lama-related iPhone apps in China. Reports Apple Hot News:
“At least five iPhone apps related to the Dalai Lama are unavailable in the China [App] store. Some of those apps 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.”
The article goes on to say:
Apple lets developers choose in which countries’ versions of the App Store to sell their products, but it is unlikely that the […] Dalai Lama apps are unavailable in China by the choice of their makers.
“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.
What do you think? Should Apple play along with China — the country recently blocked the US iTunes store for selling pro-Tibet songs — as they’re doing here? Even if the technology giant is preemptively volunteering to do so? Does a story like this affect how you perceive Apple, or is this merely one of the costs of doing global business?
Corporations are capable of making their own decisions, and need to hear from consumers that their decisions are not acceptable. Apple has made their double standard even more blatant by having His Holiness in ad campaigns before. I'm envisioning a sales-driven meeting years ago — "We will sell more if we appeal to creatives" and one more recently, "We won't sell as many if we allow the apps." APPLE NEEDS TO THINK DIFFERENTLY and be a leader, especially in light of the debacle with the recent press of Foxconn.
I personally plan to call 1-800-APL-CARE and voice my opinion. They won't know their decision supports a dangerous kowtow precedent unless they hear it from consumers directly.
Janna L via Facebook says
It is the Tibetan version of the biblical story of David and Goliath in the struggle for Tibet to reclaim their lands and identity against China's imperialist dynasty with the coins in the Western cash register blinding the eyes of all to the Tibetan Holocaust.
Rune SB via Facebook says
interesting choice of winner of the Nobel- prize this year though. Must that just be the beginning of a new trend where the rich countries bravely push pressure on the Chinese government!
Mary S via Facebook says
companies or countries that forge any relationship with the dragon will pay the karmic debts. Yes, even the United States. Compromise of values justified by finance….hmmm, no
Rachelle Willoughby says
If China doesn't want the apps, make THEM censor them. That Apple is doing it is a corporate endorsement of the Chinese government policies of suppression and oppression. Shame on Apple.
Kathie SM says
(via Facebook) a gentle man. with gentle words. china surely has a guilty conscience. and is totally afraid of the truth. apple? sad that they bowed to the pressure.
Exchange rate says
I don't understand how academics can get by with this kind of twisting the truth. It's sad that in order to further one's career, they'd have to resort ot half truths and lying by omission.
the world is often a sad place
This is a 10 month old story, first published in late December 2009. The "source" you note simply copied the story word for word from the following, published way back then.
You guys may want to do so some research before you publish your stories here.
Rod Meade Sperry says
Thanks, Alex. This is one of the hazards of reporting on reporting. Will backdate this article to December 2009 now.