Apple removing Iranian apps from the iOS App Store
According to reports, Apple has apparently started removing apps initiating in Iran from the App Store. Sometime back, the company removed the app of Digikala, which is the biggest Iranian e-commerce service.
- Fariha Khan
- January 30, 2017
In 2016, Apple started opening up the App Store Iranian users, removing limitations that had previously been there. There is no official App Store in Iran still, but developers in the country often register their apps as being from other countries to get around that restraint.
Read also: Apple removed iCloud Activation Lock from site
The Digikala uses the Shaparak payment system which is isolated from international systems and thus does not oppose Apple’s terms for developers. But, it has been removed due to this apparently new policy.
A number of Iranian banks, on the other hand, have iOS apps that are side-loaded onto devices to stay away from violating those rules.
Apple has started presenting the below message to developers when they attempt to upload apps:
Unfortunately, there is no App Store available for the territory of Iran. Additionally, apps facilitating transactions for businesses or entities based in Iran may not comply with the Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations (31CFR Part 560) when hosted on the App Store. For these reasons, we are unable to accept your application at this time. We encourage you to resubmit your application once international trade laws are revised to allow this functionality.
For now, details of Apple’s app removal process of Iranian apps are not very clear. We don’t know if all apps from within the country are being removed, or if that process is limited to just transactions.
After the removal of Iranian apps from Apple App Store, it has been a point of argument in various countries like last month on the request of the government the company removed the New York Times app from the Chinese App Store.