App Store customers in China may have noticed the recent disappearance of an application called 'Jingdian Shucheng' (roughly translated as 'Classic Bookstore').
The reason for this, as was discovered by the app's Beijing-based developer Hao Peiqiang, is that Apple has removed it from the App Store because 'it includes content that is illegal in China'. The developer was notified in a missive from Apple's 'App Review' on Thursday morning.
According to the Telegraph, it seems the reason for Jigdian Sucheng's ejection was due to the fact that it allows users access to the work of Wang Lixiong, a political activist and author who has been vocally critical of China's policies with regards to Tibet. The app is still available in the App Store outside of China.
The app's removal follows a few weeks of damning criticism from the Chinese state-sponsored media, which prompted Apple's CEO Tim Cook to issue a an apology for the company's perceived arrogance over its after-sales service.
"We are that lack of communications... led to the perception Apple's attitude was arrogant and that we do not care and attach importance to consumer feedback," Cook wrote. "We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gave consumers."
In light of Apple's recent relationship troubles with the Chinese press, the blocking of Hao Peiqiang's app could be perceived as an attempt by the company to appease Chinese authorities. China is Apple's second largest market after the USA, yet it's iPhone handsets are struggling to compete against the wide range of cheaper, locally-made smartphones.