China’s rulers hit out at Apple over app that monitors police movements

China’s rulers hit out at Apple over app that monitors police movements

Apple became the latest company targeted for Chinese pressure over protests in Hong Kong after the ruling Communist Party’s main newspaper criticised the tech giant for a smartphone app that allows activists to report police movements.

HKmap.live, designed by an outside supplier and available on Apple Inc’s online store, “facilitates illegal behaviour”, the People’s Daily said in a commentary.

Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?

“Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?” the newspaper said.

Beijing has pressed companies including Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways to take the government’s side against the protests, which are in their fourth month.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The demonstrations began over a proposed extradition law and expanded to include other grievances and demands for greater democracy.

HKmap.live allows users to report police locations, use of tear gas and other details that are added to a regularly updated map.

A version is also available for smartphones that use the Android operating system.

Protesters march in the rain on a street in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)
Protesters march in the rain on a street in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

The criticism of Apple followed government attacks starting last weekend on the National Basketball Association over a comment by the general manager of the Houston Rockets in support of the protesters.

State TV has cancelled broadcasts of NBA games.

“Apple jumped into this on its own and mixed together business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities,” the People’s Daily said.

The newspaper warned Apple might be damaging its reputation with Chinese consumers.

Police use tear gas to disperse protesters (Kin Cheung/AP)
Police use tear gas to disperse protesters (Kin Cheung/AP)

Brands targeted in the past by Beijing have been subjected to campaigns by the entirely state-controlled press to drive away consumers or disruptive investigations by tax and other regulators.

“This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple,” the People’s Daily said.

“Apple needs to think deeply.”

More on this topic

Secret documents reveal how China mass detention camps workSecret documents reveal how China mass detention camps work

Can Xi Jinping be influenced? China’s policy shows no mercyCan Xi Jinping be influenced? China’s policy shows no mercy

Goodbody to be sold to Bank of China in €150m dealGoodbody to be sold to Bank of China in €150m deal

China’s boycott of US basketball prompted by Hong Kong tweet plays into US hands China’s boycott of US basketball prompted by Hong Kong tweet plays into US hands

More in this Section

Piero Terracina, Auschwitz survivor from Italian Jewish community, diesPiero Terracina, Auschwitz survivor from Italian Jewish community, dies

Pair arrested in UK on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offencesPair arrested in UK on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences

Labour party claim more than 4,600 deaths linked to NHS patient safety incidentsLabour party claim more than 4,600 deaths linked to NHS patient safety incidents

French protesters wave stolen town hall portraits of Macron in call for more climate change actionFrench protesters wave stolen town hall portraits of Macron in call for more climate change action


Lifestyle

Overshadowed by its giant neighbours it may be, but the smallest of the main Blasket islands, Beginish, is no less impressive in its own right.The Islands of Ireland: The miracle of Beginish

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten — Psalm 90How to tell an animal’s age in a heartbeat

We often hear how nature will do well, even come back from the brink of extinction, if given a chance and some human help.Birds of prey on the rise

In our country we still have places that bear no evidence of disturbance by man, that are in their pristine state and rich with all the elements that feed the spirit and deliver us into the world beyond the skin of the time and circumstances we live in.Unique ambience of Dursey Island under threat

More From The Irish Examiner