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?