Apple removes Hong Kong map app after Chinese criticism




  • In Business
  • 2019-10-10 06:04:43Z
  • By Associated Press
Hong Kong Protests Apple
Hong Kong Protests Apple  

BEIJING (AP) - Apple removed a smartphone app that allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements from its online store Thursday after an official Chinese newspaper accused the company of facilitating illegal behavior.

Apple Inc. became the latest company to come under pressure to take Beijing's side against anti-government protesters when the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said Wednesday the HKmap.live app "facilitates illegal behavior." The newspaper asked, "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?"

Apple said in a statement that HKmap.live was removed because it "has been used to target and ambush police" and "threaten public safety." It said that violated local law and Apple guidelines.

HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas and other details that are added to a regularly updated map. Another version is available for smartphones that use the Android operating system.

"We have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement," said the Apple statement. "This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the App Store."

The Hong Kong demonstrations began over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include other grievances and demands for greater democracy.

Activists complain Beijing and Hong Kong leaders are eroding the autonomy and Western-style civil liberties promised to the former British colony when it returned to China in 1997.

Criticism of Apple followed government attacks starting last weekend on the National Basketball Association over a comment by the general manager of the Houston Rockets in support of the protesters. China's state TV has canceled broadcasts of NBA games.

People's Daily warned Apple might hurt its reputation with Chinese consumers.

"Apple needs to think deeply," the newspaper said.

Brands targeted in the past by Beijing have been subjected to campaigns by the entirely state-controlled press to drive away consumers or disrupt investigations by tax authorities and other regulators.

China has long been critical to Apple's business.

The mainland is Apple's second-biggest market after the United States but CEO Tim Cook says it eventually will become No. 1.

Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, California, also is an important asset for China.

Most of its iPhones and tablet computers are assembled in Chinese factories that employ hundreds of thousands of people. Chinese vendors supply components for Mac Pro computers that are assembled in Texas.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China
China's Xi warns attempts to divide China will end in 'shattered bones'

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups. "Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones," he told Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a meeting on Sunday, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV. "And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!" he was quoted as saying.

'Be water:' Police swoop as Hong Kong protests shift tactics

Tearing a page out of ancient Chinese military philosophy, black-clad protesters in Hong Kong changed tactics and wreaked havoc by popping up in small groups in multiple locations across the city Sunday, pursued by but also often eluding police who made scores of muscular arrests. Violence spiraled as protests stretched from Sunday afternoon into the night, with police struggling to restore order. Video broadcast on Hong Kong television also showed a masked, black-clad protester dropping a riot officer with a flying high kick, followed by two other protesters who beat the officer on the ground and tried unsuccessfully to snatch his gun.

Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted
Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted

Rallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".

In Hong Kong, all trust gone between police and protesters
In Hong Kong, all trust gone between police and protesters

In trying to end the anti-government demonstrations, which broke out in multiple locations again on Saturday and are now in their fifth month, one of the most pressing problems to solve for Hong Kong leaders will be dispelling the now widespread public scorn for police officers. Protest graffiti likening officers to dogs and worse is all over the city, and protesters Saturday chanted for the force to be disbanded. Riot police deployed but stayed far behind the day's largest rally, which drew thousands of peaceful marchers in Kowloon.

Wall Street rises as trade deal hopes grow; Apple hits record high
Wall Street rises as trade deal hopes grow; Apple hits record high

Shares of Apple Inc hit a record high and were the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, while the technology sector <.SPLRCT> was headed for its best day in five weeks. President Donald Trump said the trade negotiations were going well, and he would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He later in

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.