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Apple Pulls Hong Kong App Amid Pressure From China

Company said it 'threatened public safety'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2019 12:30 AM CDT
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Activists wear "Free Hong Kong" T-shirts before an NBA exhibition basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Guangzhou Loong-Lions, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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(Newser) – Apple removed a smartphone app that allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements from its online store Thursday after an official Chinese newspaper accused the company of facilitating illegal behavior, the AP reports. Apple Inc. became the latest company to come under pressure to take Beijing's side against anti-government protesters when the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said Wednesday the HKmap.live app "facilitates illegal behavior." The newspaper asked, "Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?" Apple said in a statement that HKmap.live was removed because it "has been used to target and ambush police" and "threaten public safety." It said that violated local law and Apple guidelines.

HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas, and other details that are added to a regularly updated map. Another version is available for smartphones that use the Android operating system. In the US, meanwhile, protesters handed out T-shirts and held up signs in support of Hong Kong when the Washington Wizards hosted a team from the Chinese Basketball Association. The Wizards beat the Guangzhou Long-Lions 137-98 in a Wednesday night game that included more than a half-dozen protests inside Capital One Arena. The protesters held up signs reading, ''South Park was right," and "Memo to the NBA: Principles over profit! No censorship! USA loves Hong Kong."

(Read more China stories.)

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