Apple has removed the controversial HKmap.Live app from its online stores which had been used to show the locations of protests and police operations in Hong Kong. The action was taken on Thursday, as the tech giant Apple was being criticized in mainland Chinese media for hosting this app.
According to Apple, it was withdrawing the app, called HKmap.live, from its App Store just days after approving it because authorities in Hong Kong said protesters were using it to attack police in the semiautonomous city.
According to the statement issued by Apple, “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. This app violates our guidelines and local laws.”
A day earlier, People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published an editorial that accused Apple of aiding “rioters” in Hong Kong.
“Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings,” said the article, which was written under a pseudonym that translates into “Calming the Waves”.