Report claims Apple hosts apps run by sanctioned Chinese organization with Uyghur persecution links

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report says Apple is hosting apps on its App Store made by a sanctioned Chinese organization.
  • The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is accused of abusing and sterilizing up to 2 million Uyghurs.
  • Apps made by units of the organization include news apps and ride-hailing services.

A damning new report from The Information claims that Apple may have hosted apps on its App Store created by a Chinese organization sanctioned in the U.S. over links to the persecution of Uyghurs.

From the report:

Apple's App Store has been distributing more than a dozen apps created by a Chinese organization sanctioned by the U.S. for human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region, The Information has learned.The apps, which provide news, offer information about government services and help small businesses manage orders for e-commerce, ride hailing and home repairs, were created by various units of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a paramilitary organization in charge of the region's economy and security. Several Western governments and human rights groups have accused the Corps of detaining and physically abusing or sterilizing up to 2 million Uyghurs, the ethnically Turkic residents of northwestern China. Chinese officials have repeatedly denied the allegations.

The report claims apps on the App Store made "by various units" of the Corps included apps for news, government services, and ride-hailing.

The remainder of the report is paywalled, however, according to AppleInsider it contains a statement from Apple which says Apple "had reviewed the apps, and concluded each complied with US law."

Apple was recently reported to have dropped an iPhone supplier from its supply chain over allegations of forced Uyghur labor.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9