Following the political demonstrations in Hong Kong, Apple has made some questionable decisions regarding technology. One was to remove the HKmap app from the App Store after Chinese media criticized its existence.
The application showed the hottest points of the manifestations and their consequent activity. However, the app also showed police activity, leading China to criticize HKmap very heavily. According to the China Daily, the application "allows protesters to commit violent acts." The app continues to work in its desktop version.
HKmap is probably a harmless application.
The creators of HKmap say there is no evidence that their app has caused public or police violence. In addition, there are applications such as Waze, which makes use of user-provided information to transmit radar presence, stop operations or general police.
Therefore, HKmap has no reason to be banned from the App Store. Apple's motivation for removing the app was probably financial, due to the strong economic influence China has in its country and the rest of the world.
This is not the first time Apple has given in to pressure
It is no secret that China prefers to keep its citizens under control by monitoring internet access and limiting their search. In 2017, Apple removed all VPN applications from its Chinese App Store, a decision many believe was made not to displease China, which represents Apple's third largest market.
Returning to the context of the demonstrations in Hong Kong, a recent update to iOS 13.1 removed the Taiwanese flag from the keyboard's list of emojis. This change only took effect in Hong Kong and Macao. Taiwan is a territory that has been in conflict with China for several years due to its independence intentions.
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