Apple China Censors 27 LGBTQ+ Applications, According To Research

By Kanyi M

According to a new allegation, Apple’s App Store in China has deleted 27 LGBTQ+ related apps, either in response to a government request or as a precaution.

Mercedes Mehling / Unsplash

Only Saudi Arabia has more LGBTQ+ applications inaccessible in their App Store, according to research by Fight for the Future, a digital rights advocacy group headquartered in the United States, and GreatFire, a nonprofit organization located in China that analyzes censorship in China.

According to a joint study released by the two organizations on Monday, the App Store allows governments to ban LGBTQ+ applications in 152 countries, in sharp contrast to Apple’s pro-LGBTQ+ initiatives in the United States.

Even while China is notorious for broad and pervasive censorship, GreatFire’s campaign and advocacy director and Apple Censorship project coordinator Benjamin Ismail told Protocol that the nation prohibits more LGBTQ+-related applications on the App Store than countries that outlaw homosexuality.

Ismael added that it was their opinion that Apple’s stance in various nations differed and that the corporation felt more comfortable ignoring, refusing, or delaying government demands in some countries than in others.

However, just because an app isn’t accessible in one nation doesn’t imply it was banned by Apple; it may be because the developer opted not to make it available in that area. Ismail clarified that their study excluded certain apps that had been deleted by their developers, and that the biggest change is that Apple decided to remove the app.

Apple did not delete the LGBTQ+ applications listed in the article as being inaccessible in China, according to an Apple representative. The representative went on to say that app developers frequently make deliberate decisions not to make their apps available in specific regions.