Apple has decided to give the green light to an application called HKmaps, which is being used by Hong Kong Democrats to gather information about road closures and police presence. This, of course, provokes the anger of the Chinese government.
An article in the Chinese newspaper China Daily insults its manufacturer iPhone to override a previous decision to prevent the application from appearing on iOS App Store - claiming that the application "allows demonstrators in Hong Kong to commit violent acts" (via The Guardian).
The HKmaps app uses emoji to show police and protests around Hong Kong, as users say.
The former British colony is a special administrative district of the People's Republic of China that has been able to maintain certain economic and political freedoms from reunification with China. However, earlier this year, protests broke out in support of democracy after the Hong Kong government attempted to pass legislation that would allow a criminal to be extradited to mainland China, and this would be done through policing around ongoing protests made visible in HK.
The app's developer denies that the map permits illegal activity, saying its function is "for information purposes only" - to allow residents to move around the city freely, avoiding active protest points. However, the Chinese government calls it "toxic".
“Business is business and politics is politics. Nobody wants to get Apple involved in the protracted turmoil in Hong Kong. But people have reason to assume that Apple is engaging businesses with politics, even with illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its incomprehensible and reckless decision, ”warns the author of the China newspaper.
"Providing a way of escaping 'toxic applications' hurts the emotions of the Chinese people by distorting the events of Hong Kong," he continued. “Apple and other companies should be able to discern their mistake. They should also be aware that only China's prosperity will bring them a wider and more sustainable market. ”
The article further mentions to Apple that it intends to restore a song about Hong Kong's independence that it had previously removed from the music store.
A few days ago, the company received complaints from Western commentators who rallied to disregard the decision and not allow the application to be issued. Hkmaps, unless there is some revision. The app developer said Apple App Store reviewers rejected the argument that "the app allowed users to violate law enforcement".
However, as many have pointed out since then, Google's Waze app literally describes how to "avoid the police".
The broader trade tensions between them USA and China are also creating greater volatility, causing significant headaches for China Huawei - with the Trump administration pushing allies to freeze 5G networks and persuading US companies not to provide services to Chinese companies leading to questions about whether Huawei smartphones can continue to use it. Android Its OS Google.
The transition is definitely getting tougher for tech companies working from East to West.