The tensions between China and Dalai Lama aren't secret. From choosing its own "Living Buddhas" to lessen Dalai Lama's influence to banning celebrities such as Lady Gaga from meeting the Buddhist spiritual leader, China is clear on its stance against the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile.
The rivalry against Dalai Lama runs so deep that the 82-year-old Buddhist monk's iOS app to keep his devotees updated with his latest teachings has also been banned in Apple's China app store. The app, aptly named Dalai Lama, is available for free on iTunes, and it offers official news, His Holiness's official schedule of events, photos and videos of events, and Dalai Lama's teachings.
Dalai Lama's online reach is massive. The spiritual leader already has over 16.6 million followers on Twitter alone. By the means of this new app, Dalai Lama's teachings and latest updates will be readily available at the fingertips of millions of users.
The Office of His Holiniess the Dalai Lama has released ‘Dalai Lama’, a new iPhone App now available for download at the Apple App Store https://t.co/F7V8IpkgDl. With Dalai Lama stay up to date with what His Holiness is doing, his travels, and his teachings. pic.twitter.com/zQnY5QNP8j— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) December 14, 2017
The Dalai Lama app is compatible with most of the iOS-powered devices, which run iOS 10 or later. They include iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices. The app has already received full 5-star ratings so far.
Besides Dalai Lama, the Roman Catholic Church had launched the Pope App and later a Confession app in 2013 to help devotees stay connected at all times. But Dalai Lama himself is not very fond of modernising technologies.
"Whether technology's effect is good or bad depends on the user. It's important that we shouldn't be slaves to technology; it should help us," Dalai Lama had said in a tweet last March.
Before that, he'd urged his followers to put a leash on technology. 'Without technology, humanity has no future, but we have to be careful that we don't become so mechanised that we lose our human feelings,' he said, Daily Mail reports.
Can I get Dalai Lama app in Tibet?
Since the app isn't available in Apple's China store, Tibetans, too, won't have access to it. But this isn't the first time Apple has blocked apps based on its region. Apple iPhone users in China do not have access to any of Google services such as Search, which is alternated with Baidu, and Maps, which is replaced by Baidu Maps or Bing Maps depending on user's preference.