China’s state media, People’s Daily, has thrown accusations toward Apple for endorsing and protecting Hong Kong’s “rioters”. The accusation comes after an app available in the iPhone app store was listed to track the movement of Hong Kong police. Protests in the Special Administrative Region have escalated into violence as the people continue to fight against the extradition bill.
People’s Daily recently published a piece from the Chinese Communist party condemning foreign companies for stepping toes out of line amid the protests. One of China’s recent moves against western companies includes canceling its collaboration with America’s National Basketball Association. The move followed team officials expressing support for Hong Kong protestors.
The app in question called HKmap.live allows citizens in the city to crowdsource the movement and location of police and anti-government demonstrators. The app was reportedly approved by the tech giant on October 4th. It then went live on the App Store a day later. Apple initially rejected the submission prior to reversing its decision according to the app’s anonymous developer as per the South China Morning Post.
Through the app, protestors are able to see police hotspots in the city in real-time through a map. It also gives continuous updates and incident reports to help protestors avoid anti-riot police.
The opinion piece published on People’s Daily claims that Apple “Allowing the ‘poisonous’ app to flourish is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings.” HKmap.live currently holds the top place of the most downloaded apps in its category for the iOS App Store in Hong Kong.