Monday, 21 October, 2019

Tim Cook Explains Why Apple Removed the Controversial Hong Kong Protest App

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino California on Sept 10 2019 In flip-flop, Apple bans app used by Hong Kong protestors
Patty Aguilar | 12 October, 2019, 17:19

In the message on an internal Apple website, Cook said the information in the app, including crowdsourced locations of police checkpoints and protest hotspots, was on its own "benign".

"It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different", Cook wrote. He also said the app violates local laws.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), criticized Apple stating: "Apple's decision to cave to Communist China's demands is unacceptable".

"National and worldwide debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts", Cook wrote. "Apple assured me last week that their initial decision to ban this app was a mistake".

The Android version of the HKmap.live is still available in the Google Play store.

"Providing a gateway for "toxic apps" is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people", the paper said, confirming that Hkmap.live opened the door to violent protests.

This resulted in a massive backlash against Apple, with #BoycottApple trending on twitter. "We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong".

During the October 10 press conference, the foreign ministry spokesperson also said that foreign businesses are welcome to invest in China, "but the precondition is that they comply with Chinese laws and regulations and respect Chinese people's national feelings". The company didn't respond to requests for comment yesterday. According to the app's developers, pro-democracy protestors, journalists, and even Hong Kong government supporters have been using HKmap.live to navigate the city as large-scale political protests continue.

We built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for every user.

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The existence of such an app shows that "most of the Hong Kong people, maybe they're really afraid of the police nowadays", she said.

Hong Kong had experienced relative calm since last weekend, when a peaceful march by tens of thousands spiralled into a night of running battles between protesters and police. Cook wrote to Apple employees saying. that over the past few days the company received "credible information" that the app was used maliciously, .to target individual officers and properties where no police are present. The news organization told The Verge that they "abhor this kind of government censorship of the internet".

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Petrol bombs were thrown inside a Hong Kong metro station on Saturday but no one was injured, the government said, as pro-democracy protesters angry at what they believe is Beijing's tightening grip on the city took to the streets again.

The People's Daily newspaper, in its commentary on Tuesday, said Apple did not have a sense of right and wrong, and ignored the truth.

The app was downloaded over 1,000 times before being pulled due to its apparently being in violation of store policies.

U.S. lawmakers criticized Apple's decision, too.

Hong Kong's protests started in opposition to a now-abandoned extradition bill but have mushroomed in four months into a pro-democracy movement and an outlet for anger at social inequality in the city, an Asian financial hub.

"The protesters are participating in an unauthorised assembly, which constitutes an offence under the Hong Kong Laws". "Neither he or anyone else at Apple has specified which law this is".

"It sounds like they are being responsible". The issue has become a red line for those doing business in China, most recently drawing the National Basketball Association into a firestorm over a tweet supporting the protesters that caused partners to stop doing business with the league and state television to halt airing games.

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