Apple approves, then bans, Hong Kong app after Chinese criticism

Hong Kong protestors beneath umbrellas.

Enlarge / Hong Kong protestors in August 2019. (credit: Lewis Tse Pui Lung)

Apple has yanked an app called HKmap.live from its app store just days after approving it. The app used crowdsourcing to track the location of protestors and police officers in real time. The app’s anonymous author says it’s intended to help people in Hong Kong to stay safe by avoiding potentially dangerous areas.

Apple’s latest move came after China’s official state-run newspaper, the People’s Daily, criticized the app for aiding anti-government protestors—labeled “rioters” by the government—and endangering public safety.

Apple first rejected the app in early October, arguing that it “allowed users to evade law enforcement.” Critics pointed out that Apple has approved other apps with similar functionality, including the speed-trap warnings on Waze.

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Source: Ars Technica – Apple approves, then bans, Hong Kong app after Chinese criticism

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