Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Petrol bombs thrown inside Hong Kong metro station, says govt

Petrol bombs thrown inside Hong Kong metro station, says govt

"This case is no different", Cook wrote.

Apple CEO Tim Cook. NKmap lets users track police activity and pinpoints pro-democracy protests against China's moves to restrict freedom in Hong Kong.

Apple did not respond to Gizmodo overnight but did send Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman a statement confirming the company removed the app because it "violates our guidelines and local laws". National and global debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts.

Apple chose to take down from its App Store after complaints from several people in Hong Kong, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The app is still available on the Google Play Store, and is viewable through its website.

"However, over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimise individuals and property where no police are present".

Apple did not comment beyond its statement.

As if piling up sandbags before a flood, Apple was well prepared to face backlash over its decision to remove an app used by Hong Kong protesters.

"Given the context of how (Apple) has over the years removed apps and removed access to news particularly inside mainland China that the Chinese government doesn't want, I think that the removal of this particular app strikes me as another shameful incident in which a multinational company bends to Chinese government pressure", she said. "For a company that usually measures umpteen times before cutting anything, it's both sad and startling", wrote John Gruber, one of the best-known Apple commentators, on his blog Daring Fireball.

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Apple initially held off on approving the app but chose to list it on its App Store, but eventually made it available for users to download on October 5, the South China Morning Post reported.

"The majority of user review [s] in the App Store ... suggest HKmap IMPROVED public safety, not the opposite", they said.

Maciej Cegłowski, a software developer and activist who has been reporting from Hong Kong over the summer, tweeted that the claim the app violated the law was similarly unfounded. Earlier this week, we reported that Blizzard banned a Hong Kong Hearthstone player from its professional tournaments and stripped him of his prize money after he shouted a pro-Hong Kong slogan during a livestream.

It's not just Apple removing apps from its storefront. The news organization told The Verge that they "abhor this kind of government censorship of the internet".

"I stand with the people of Hong Kong calling on the government of China to honour the promises it made to the world when it promised to maintain political freedom in Hong Kong", said Mr Cruz, who wore black to show support for the black-clad protest movement. "At a press conference today, Hong Kong authorities didn't know either, and deferred all questions on the matter to Apple".

Apple has once again taken down an iOS app aimed at helping Hong Kong protesters avoid police crackdowns in the troubled city. A web version was also still viewable on iPhones.

Hong Kong's protests started in opposition to a now-abandoned extradition bill but have widened in four months into a pro-democracy movement and anger at what they believe is China's tightening grip on the semi-autonomous territory.

"It sounds like they are being responsible".

U.S. President Donald Trump said in announcing a partial trade deal with China on Friday that he had raised Hong Kong in the talks after previously warning that a deteriorating situation in the city could affect the negotiations.

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