Tensions in Hong Kong continue to rise as the protesters that are apple users have lost an app that tracks police movements after the tech giant received criticism by a Chinese newspaper.
Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook defended this decision saying that it best protects Apple’s users.
Alphabet Inc’s Google issued a statement on Thursday in which they said that they had dropped a game from the apps store that allowed players to pretend that they are protesters from Hong Kong,
The Chinese newspaper that criticized Apple for the app wrote on Tuesday that the app is poisonous.
On Wednesday, Apple officials said that they had begun an immediate investigation after many concerned customers in Hong Kong contacted them about the app.
‘’The app displays police locations and 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 Apple’s officials in the statement.
According to Reuters, Maya Wang, a senior China researcher with Human Rights Watch, said that there could be legitimate concerns of misuse of apps but that the statement from Apple was disingenuous because it did not make any reference to pressure from Beijing in the People’s Daily commentary.
‘’Given the context of how Apple has over the years removed apps and removed access to news particularly inside mainland China that the Chinese government doesn’t want, I think that the removal of this particular app strikes me as another shameful incident in which in a multinational company bends to Chinese government pressure,’’ said Wang.
Marsha Blackburn, a U.S. Senator from the Republican party said:
‘’Apple and American companies should not fold to a communist regime’s demands to shut down democracy activists.’’