Tim Cook defends Apple Drawing Program used by Hong Kong protestors

Facebook screengrab 林鄭月娥 Carrie Lam

This is only Apple's latest action under pressure from China, but CEO Tim Cook is defending the company's moves.

The Cupertino idiot-tax racket on Thursday removed HKMap.live from the App Store, just days after re-approving the app. He says a lot of American tech firms are thinking of building manufacturing sites outside China - "they worry the tariffs (imposed by the United States on Chinese-produced goods) may become permanent".

Apple's decision to bar the HKmap.live app, which crowdsources the locations of both police and protesters, from its app store plunges the company into the increasingly fraught political tension between China and the protesters that has also ensnared other USA and Hong Kong businesses.

Mok appeared to be referencing recent furores over the NBA's attempts to appease China after one of its coaches supported the Hong Kong protests, and game giant Blizzard's punishment of a player who likewise voiced support. "It's a sign of fear of the protesters in the streets of Hong Kong".

Nonetheless, his letter to staff failed to even mention the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, the reason the app was created in the first place. China has emerged as the company's third-largest market behind the US and Europe, accounting for 20% of its sales during its past fiscal year.

"I stand with the people of Hong Kong calling on the government of China to honour the promises it made to the world when it promised to maintain political freedom in Hong Kong", said Mr Cruz. "Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision", read an article for the People's Daily newspaper. "China hopes that relevant people will understand the truth about problems in Hong Kong, act carefully and do useful things for the friendship between China and Thailand", the embassy said in a statement. The app had been used in ways that "endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong", it added.

Taken together, both these decisions by Apple add fuel to an already widespread perception among US politicians that Apple won't have the spine to stand-up to China.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped a scheduled meeting with US Senator Ted Cruz, the highest profile US politician to visit the city since anti-government protests broke out more than four months ago, the senator said on Saturday (Oct 12). The National Basketball Association, which has been pursuing its own expansion into China, has muzzled its own employees after an executive with the Houston Rockets drew the ire of Beijing by posting a Tweet in support of the Hong Kong protesters. These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate.

The HKmap.live app was taken down from Apple's App Store globally on Wednesday but continued to work for users who had previously downloaded it in Hong Kong, Reuters found.

"This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law", Cook said.

"It is now not any secret that expertise might per chance presumably presumably also furthermore be outdated-fashioned for correct or for ill".

In addition, Apple also also removed the app of news outlet, Quartz, from the App Store in China saying Quartz was publishing content "illegal in China". Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since.

"The young people have already sacrificed a lot, it is about time for us, the senior citizens in Hong Kong to come forward to take up part of the responsibility from the young people", 63-year-old Shiu told local media.



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