China Accuses Apple of 'Protecting Rioters' After Approving HKmap Live for the App Store

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Apple has come under attack from China for allowing an app in its App Store that is being used by Hong Kong protestors to track protests and police movements in the city state (via The Guardian).

Last week we reported that Apple was reviewing its decision to reject the HKmap Live app from the App Store while it investigated whether the software violates local laws. HKmap Live has been used extensively by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong to crowdsource information about street closures and police presence.

Apple ultimately approved the app, which has become the most downloaded app under the travel category in the iOS App Store for Hong Kong - a fact that appears to have attracted the ire of the mainland Chinese administration.

On Wednesday, China's state media accused the tech giant of endorsing and protecting "rioters" in Hong Kong's ongoing protests. The condemnation came via the People's Daily, a recognized Chinese Communist party mouthpiece.

The commentary, the print-version of which ran with the headline "Protecting rioters - Has Apple thought clearly about this?", denounced Apple for "allowing the poisonous app to flourish," which it called "a betrayal of the Chinese people's feelings."

It said Apple's approval of HKmap Live, which it did not specifically name, made it an "accomplice" in the protests because it "blatantly protects and endorses the rioters," and questioned what the company's intentions were.

It also criticized Apple for allowing Glory to Hong Kong - an unofficial anthem frequently sung by protesters during the ongoing anti-government movement - to be available for download in the iTunes Store.
The map app is just the tip of the iceberg. In the Apple Music Store in Hong Kong, there was also a song advocating "Hong Kong independence." Such a song was once removed from the music store and has resurrected.

As a company with international influence, Apple has always enjoyed a high reputation. A company has its own standards of conduct, but should also have its social responsibilities. If Apple abandons its responsibilities and let violent acts get worse, it puts more users at risk.

Business is business, and politics is politics. Nobody wants to drag Apple into the lingering unrest in Hong Kong. But people have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.
While it appears that Apple deemed the HKmap Live app to be legal, it has acted to remove apps from the App Store to abide by Chinese law in the past.

In July 2017, it removed most VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government. Later the same year, Apple removed Skype from the App Store in China to comply with local law.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: China Accuses Apple of 'Protecting Rioters' After Approving HKmap Live for the App Store
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,796
2,246
Tennessee
The reality of doing business in China is revealing itself - the good and the bad. And companies that want to reap the profits from that market (cost savings or sales) are now going to face intolerable pressure and will have to make some tough choices.

I think the NBA obeisance is merely the first notable one. That policy isn’t sustainable in the long run.
 

RedGala

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2015
198
808
Apple can tell China to piss off because the app doesn't directly tell people to riot.

Unless customers of some of these global companies threaten to boycott said companies, we can only expect that China will get its way. Keep applying pressure so that China understands that blocking access to information does not solve problems.
 

okboy

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2010
248
438
"Rioters" is an incorrect term. They are foreign-backed terrorists who do more than property damage, but derail _passenger_ trains and beat civilians and journalists, usually unprovoked. They have received at least $29 million dollars from a foreign government organization which is run by the head of the Contra program. They've met with Western government officials and are seen as being instructed by agents from the west working with them in HK. They wave American flags, and praise Trump and Neo-Nazi favourite "PePe" the frog through signs and spray paint. They ask the West to invade using their military.

Their goal is cripple the economy through fear, destruction of transportation infrastructure and violence that makes many afraid to leave their homes or open their businesses. And it's clearly a network, with leaders praised by war mongers. Remember when the US trained Al Qaeda and so many other violent groups? Pulling off the same in China will be hard, but that seems to be what the West hopes to do.

If I made an Al Qaeda app, to help extremists discuss, meet and locate one another, I'd be in big trouble. When the same is done to aid enemies of China, Apple approves it.

Integrating HK into China will be a slow process, they know this. After the outrageous murder of a Chinese girl by a HK teen who is now walking free, the justice system recommended a small step: extradition for crimes committed in other countries. HK folks can't just murder folks and then go home to face no punishment. But send in professionals in psyops, lie in the Western media, train and finance terrorists, and you have a may just get a new Eastern Contra style system that can damage the country at large.

But I think China is wise and will solve this attempt at proxy attack.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
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The draw of the billion shoelace market is strong, just as Google was trying to get its Dragonfly project done and working in secret before letting word out, here we see Apple fall down on the moral path (in blocking this app previously).

Its good to see this decision reversed on this mapping app. Of course on the whole, if you want to make and sell stuff in an authoritarian country you'll have to play by (be a partner to and be corrupted by) the authoritarian government's rules...in the end.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
The reality of doing business in China is revealing itself - the good and the bad. And companies that want to reap the profits from that market (cost savings or sales) are now going to face intolerable pressure and will have to make some tough choices.

I think the NBA obeisance is merely the first notable one. That policy isn’t sustainable in the long run.
A lot of businesses are going to have to examine their proverbial deals with the devil. Plenty of companies have benefited financially from a relationship with China. As long as there's no unrest, it's all good. But when things go bad, China expects all of their partners to fall in lock step support of it's position. As you pointed out, look at the NBA. The League is in a no win situation trying to balance their pro social justice stance against the financial windfall that is China. The NBA isn't the only league walking on eggshells either. No companies want to get caught up in that potential meatgrinder. The Chinese government, with their absolute control of the economy, is tail that wags the dog.
 

okboy

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2010
248
438
Apple, hurry up and move all manufacturing out of the country and stop doing business there. Your bottom line will take a hit, but your reputation won't. Either you have values that span the globe or you don't.

This "we operate by the law in each country" PR line doesn't hold water anymore.
China is way ahead of anyone else is manufacturing--not just in numbers, but in skill, experience and infrastructure. Moving elsewhere will take decades, enormous cost or both. Plus the trade routes they've built, and access to resources around the world. Time Cook could explain it all much better, but they have built an environment that is unparalleled for producing goods.

Western folks are nearly gleeful when they find a poor quality Chinese product, but the iPhone is made their too, and nearly every other premium product. They know how to cut costs and make affordable products as well as incredible ones, and have the resources to cover all price points.

I would expect trouble from Apple devices made outside China (even though they may not report on the low yield of products not passing QA).
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
4,423
4,722
Sunnyvale, CA
"Rioters" is an incorrect term. They are foreign-backed terrorists who do more than property damage, but derail _passenger_ trains and beat civilians and journalists, usually unprovoked. They have received at least $29 million dollars from a foreign government organization which is run by the head of the Contra program. They've met with Western government officials and are seen as being instructed by agents from the west working with them in HK. They wave American flags, and praise Trump and Neo-Nazi favourite "PePe" the frog through signs and spray paint. They ask the West to invade using their military.

Their goal is cripple the economy through fear, destruction of transportation infrastructure and violence that makes many afraid to leave their homes or open their businesses. And it's clearly a network, with leaders praised by war mongers. Remember when the US trained Al Qaeda and so many other violent groups? Pulling off the same in China will be hard, but that seems to be what the West hopes to do.

If I made an Al Qaeda app, to help extremists discuss, meet and locate one another, I'd be in big trouble. When the same is done to aid enemies of China, Apple approves it.

Integrating HK into China will be a slow process, they know this. After the outrageous murder of a Chinese girl by a HK teen who is now walking free, the justice system recommended a small step: extradition for crimes committed in other countries. HK folks can't just murder folks and then go home to face no punishment. But send in professionals in psyops, lie in the Western media, train and finance terrorists, and you have a may just get a new Eastern Contra style system that can damage the country at large.

But I think China is wise and will solve this attempt at proxy attack.
Be careful of disagreeing with the People’s Daily, you will lose Social Credits. If they want to call the Hong Kong protesters rioters, you need to agree with them. You do not want to end up in re-education camps like the Uighurs.
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,103
3,687
"Rioters" is an incorrect term. They are foreign-backed terrorists who do more than property damage, but derail _passenger_ trains and beat civilians and journalists, usually unprovoked. They have received at least $29 million dollars from a foreign government organization which is run by the head of the Contra program. They've met with Western government officials and are seen as being instructed by agents from the west working with them in HK. They wave American flags, and praise Trump and Neo-Nazi favourite "PePe" the frog through signs and spray paint. They ask the West to invade using their military.

Their goal is cripple the economy through fear, destruction of transportation infrastructure and violence that makes many afraid to leave their homes or open their businesses. And it's clearly a network, with leaders praised by war mongers. Remember when the US trained Al Qaeda and so many other violent groups? Pulling off the same in China will be hard, but that seems to be what the West hopes to do.

If I made an Al Qaeda app, to help extremists discuss, meet and locate one another, I'd be in big trouble. When the same is done to aid enemies of China, Apple approves it.

Integrating HK into China will be a slow process, they know this. After the outrageous murder of a Chinese girl by a HK teen who is now walking free, the justice system recommended a small step: extradition for crimes committed in other countries. HK folks can't just murder folks and then go home to face no punishment. But send in professionals in psyops, lie in the Western media, train and finance terrorists, and you have a may just get a new Eastern Contra style system that can damage the country at large.

But I think China is wise and will solve this attempt at proxy attack.
Ok.... wow. Sarcasm???
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
4,423
4,722
Sunnyvale, CA
China is way ahead of anyone else is manufacturing--not just in numbers, but in skill, experience and infrastructure. Moving elsewhere will take decades, enormous cost or both. Plus the trade routes they've built, and access to resources around the world. Time Cook could explain it all much better, but they have built an environment that is unparalleled for producing goods.

Western folks are nearly gleeful when they find a poor quality Chinese product, but the iPhone is made their too, and nearly every other premium product. They know how to cut costs and make affordable products as well as incredible ones, and have the resources to cover all price points.

I would expect trouble from Apple devices made outside China (even though they may not report on the low yield of products not passing QA).
I’m sure Apple appreciates your concern, but manufacturing is already moving away from China as wages there increase, and it becomes higher and higher cost (regardless of tariffs).

India will likely be the main beneficiary of such a move. Foxconn has already said it has sufficient capacity outside China to manufacture product destined for the US.
 

Mansu944

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2012
540
867
"Rioters" is an incorrect term. They are foreign-backed terrorists who do more than property damage, but derail _passenger_ trains and beat civilians and journalists, usually unprovoked. They have received at least $29 million dollars from a foreign government organization which is run by the head of the Contra program. They've met with Western government officials and are seen as being instructed by agents from the west working with them in HK. They wave American flags, and praise Trump and Neo-Nazi favourite "PePe" the frog through signs and spray paint. They ask the West to invade using their military.

Their goal is cripple the economy through fear, destruction of transportation infrastructure and violence that makes many afraid to leave their homes or open their businesses. And it's clearly a network, with leaders praised by war mongers. Remember when the US trained Al Qaeda and so many other violent groups? Pulling off the same in China will be hard, but that seems to be what the West hopes to do.

If I made an Al Qaeda app, to help extremists discuss, meet and locate one another, I'd be in big trouble. When the same is done to aid enemies of China, Apple approves it.

Integrating HK into China will be a slow process, they know this. After the outrageous murder of a Chinese girl by a HK teen who is now walking free, the justice system recommended a small step: extradition for crimes committed in other countries. HK folks can't just murder folks and then go home to face no punishment. But send in professionals in psyops, lie in the Western media, train and finance terrorists, and you have a may just get a new Eastern Contra style system that can damage the country at large.

But I think China is wise and will solve this attempt at proxy attack.
Oh shoot...we found the official Chinese government Macrumors account.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
If Apple are smart, they will ramp up production of iPhones and other products here in the US, or at least in other democracies, so that they do not have to kowtow to the dictatorship in Beijing. It may cause costs to rise, but that's OK -- better to pay the proper cost of something and have a clear conscience than to pay less at the cost of supporting things that are bad.