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Hong Kong protests: China newspaper criticises Apple for app used to track police

Hong Kong protests: China newspaper criticises Apple for app used to track police

Apple employees welcome customers inside Apple's store in Hong Kong. (File photo: AFP)

HONG KONG: The Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, lashed out on Tuesday (Oct 8) at Apple for allowing an app on its app store that tracks the movement of police around Hong Kong and is used by protesters in ongoing and sometimes violent demonstrations.

In a commentary, the newspaper did not mention the name of the location app, but it decried what it said was Apple's complicity in helping the protesters and questioned whether Apple was "thinking clearly".

READ: Hong Kong Cabinet member suggests Internet curbs to contain unrest

One such map that is available on the Apple app store, the HKmap.live app, has become a lightning rod on Twitter for criticism and support of the protests.

The developer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Saturday in a tweet they said that Apple had "many business considerations" but had "make thing(s) right."

Apple is the latest foreign company to catch heat in relation to the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which have lasted four months.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and US sports brand Vans also have become embroiled in controversies over the protests.

READ: NBA's Houston Rockets face Chinese backlash after exec's Hong Kong 'freedom' tweet

The piece on the website of the People's Daily said Apple did not have a sense of right and wrong, and ignored the truth.

Making the App available on Apple's Hong Kong app store at this time was "opening the door" to violent protesters.

"Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people's feelings," the paper said.

On Monday, a Hong Kong Cabinet member told AFP that the government may curb access to the Internet in a bid to contain months of increasingly violent anti-government protests.

This followed an emergency-law ban on demonstrators wearing face masks failed to quell the unrest.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

Follow us on Telegram for the latest on Hong Kong: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: Reuters/mn

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