Apple has now joined with the ranks of large US Fortune 500 companies like Google and Yahoo in kow towing to China's dictates, by blocking five iPhone applications related to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama in the Chinese App Store.
An iPhone application related to 62 year-old Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer exiled to the US, has also been blocked by Apple.
When Apple and China's second largest telecom operator China Unicom signed a three-year deal in August to bring the popular iPhone to China, the world's largest mobile phone market with more than 680 million users, (See: Apple clinches three-year deal to sell iPhone in China) the Chinese government demanded regulatory approval of the apps as required by local laws, which Apple had agreed to.
Five iPhone apps related to the Dalai Lama have been blocked by Apple in the Chinese App Store like the Dalai Quotes, which contains information about Nobel Prize winners including the Dalai Lama.
IDG News Service, publisher of Macworld, Computerworld, PC World and other magazines said that tests performed on four out of five iPhones at the Apple Store in Beijing did not return any results for the term "Dalai". It said one did display the Dalai Lama applications but it was unclear why.
Test searches for a Kadeer iPhone application called "10 Conditions" did not return any results, either IDG said.