Chinese media People’s Daily has accused Apple of protecting rioters by listing the controversial location app HKmap.live on the App Store. This is the latest action with which China aims to pressure foreign companies into censoring Hong Kong protests-related content.
The accusation also comes after CCTV (China Central Television) and other Chinese companies canceled their collaborations with the US National Basketball Association, with the argument that the NBA endorses violence and gives “a shot to the arms of the rioters of Hong Kong”.
The crowd-sourced application HKmap.live, which allows users to note the location of police, protesters and incidents, was approved by Apple on Friday and made available on the App Store a day later.
Apple’s earlier decision to ban the app rose suspicion that the tech company is just “sucking up to China”. But now that the app is available on the App Store, Chinese media started accusing Apple of being an “accomplice” in the protests.
People’s Daily didn’t mention the name of the controversial app, and explained it as a means for
“Hong Kong rioters to openly commit crime while openly escaping arrests.”
The accusations reached a point where the Chinese media said that Apple’s unwise meddling in “political, commercial and illegal activities” would only “draw more turbulence” for the tech company.
There was no immediate comment from Apple regarding the accusations.