Technology: Apple removes Hong Kong protest app following Chinese pressure - The symbolic image of a pro-Beijing banner burned in Hong Kong - PressFrom - US
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Technology Apple removes Hong Kong protest app following Chinese pressure

13:05  10 october  2019
13:05  10 october  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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Apple 's complex relationship with China has made the headlines again. Just a day after Chinese state media criticized the company for allowing HKmap The app , which shares information on the location of pro -democracy protests and police activity in Hong Kong , was slammed by China Daily -- owned

Apple removed a smartphone app that allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements Apple became the latest company targeted for Chinese pressure over protests in Hong Kong The Hong Kong demonstrations began over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include other

Apple's complex relationship with China has made the headlines again. Just a day after Chinese state media criticized the company for allowing HKmap in its App Store -- and a week after Apple flip flopped on its initial decision to delist the app -- the crowdsourced map app has been removed, again sparking concerns that Apple is pandering to China's political regime.

a hand holding a cellphone

The app, which shares information on the location of pro-democracy protests and police activity in Hong Kong, was slammed by China Daily -- owned by the Communist Party of China -- for enabling "rioters in Hong Kong to go on violent acts," adding that Apple has to "think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision."

Apple removes Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong

  Apple removes Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong Apple appears to have removed the Taiwan flag from the emoji keyboard of users that have their iOS region set to Hong Kong or Macau, according to a number of local websites, including Hiraku. The change, implemented via a software update, comes not long after the company released its iOS 13 operating system, and highlights the complicated relationship that Apple -- and indeed many American companies -- have with China. Apple's region lock of ROCApple's region lock of ROC Taiwan flag ???????? extended beyond CN devices to HK and Macau's in the iOS/iPadOS 13.1.1 rollout. Interestingly, the new lock only affects the keyboard, and has no problem displaying and is easy to bypass by switching region. https://t.co/RVRKNQyc1lpic.twitter.

The removal of HKmap.Live from the iTunes Store follows an editorial in China ’s People’s Daily on Wednesday that accused Apple of “protecting rioters” with its “poisonous app ”. Apple is the fourth American company to come under fire this week for alleged involvement in the Hong Kong protests

Apple on Wednesday removed an app that enabled protesters in Hong Kong to track police, a day after facing Apple ’s reversal on the app comes amid the backdrop of intense pressure from the Chinese government on multinational companies to stay out of the continuing protests in Hong Kong .

HKmap's creators, however, say that there is no evidence that the app has been used to target police or threaten public safety. They added that apps such as Waze, which use crowdsourced information to help users avoid traffic cameras and police, are still permitted on the App Store, and noted that they are sure there have been occasions where criminal activity has been discussed and encouraged on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. HKmap is still available on desktop.

Critics say that Apple's decision to remove the app is just another example of the company kowtowing to the economically influential country. Two years ago Apple pulled all the VPN apps from its App Store in China, while more recently it removed the Taiwan flag emoji from the iOS keyboards of users in Hong Kong, in a move many claim was designed to appease Apple's third biggest market.

Apple CEO Tim Cook urged to 'reverse course' after pulling Hong Kong protest app .
Four US representatives called the removal of the HKMaps.live app "deeply concerning.""Apple's decisions last week to accommodate the Chinese government by taking down HKMaps is deeply concerning. We urge you in the strongest terms to reverse course, to demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access, and to stand with the brave men and women fighting for basic rights and dignity in Hong Kong," the letter said. The letter follows the app's removal and Cook's meeting with China's market regulator in Beijing on Thursday, according to a report from Reuters.

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