Technology

Tim Cook defends Apple Drawing Program used by Hong Kong protestors

Share
Facebook screengrab 林鄭月娥 Carrie Lam

The letter (a copy that tech veteran John Gruber claims is authentic has been posted by here) went on to explain that the company reviewed "credible information" from "users" and "Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau" and subsequently determined HKmap.live was used "maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present".

"Apple was wise enough to invest heavily in end-to-end encryption and retaining as little data as possible in response to increasingly invasive governments and police".

Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown, reporting from Hong Kong, said Saturday's marches drew smaller crowds and were peaceful as compared to a rally last weekend, which spiralled into a night of running battles between protesters and police.

Although the rule established by Google can be open to interpretation, most critics believe that Google's actions are a lot more reasonable than Apple's.

Mok's letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, published on Twitter, said the app's removal "cause problems for normal Hong Kong citizens trying to avoid police presence while they are under constant fear of police brutality".

What Cook failed to mention is that the firm generates $44 billion in sales in China every year, pulling out of the country entirely could be catastrophic for the firm. Most of Apple's manufacturing occurs in China, and China is also a big market for Apple's products.

The tension has highlighted some USA firms' dependence on China while raising questions about their willingness to compromise on values such as freedom of expression to continue doing business in the country, where authorities tolerate no criticism of the ruling party. Communist Party mouthpiece The People's Daily said by stocking the app, Apple was "mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts".

Cook wrote today to all Apple employees, defending the removal of HKmap.live from the iOS App Store. China is also the third-largest market for iPhones after the United States and Europe, and amid the trade wars, Apple is said to be doing what it can to prevent China from retaliating after the Unites States places sanctions on Huawei.

"We came to protest against the mask law", a protester named Emily told Hong Kong Free Press.

President Trump, like Apple, only really cares about business.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent much of the past year walking a thin line, trying to prod a truce between the US and China while also trying to protect his company's interests.

The App Store ban "is clearly a political decision to suppress freedom and human rights in Hong Kong", it said. "Apple just sided with them".

The iPhone maker is not the first Silicon Valley company to confront the acute challenge of operating in mainland China. "This app violates our guidelines and local laws".

Those fears were "magnified on the world stage" by China's response to a tweet by a USA basketball executive supporting Hong Kong's protesters, he said. China's state TV canceled broadcasts of National Basketball Association games. "Tim Cook or Beijing?"

"We abhor this kind of government censorship of the internet, and have great coverage of how to get around such bans around the world", said Zach Seward, CEO of Quartz, in a statement.

Google, on the other hand, removed a pro-Hong Kong protestor game called The Revolution of Our Times from the Play Store; however, a cached version of it can still be found via Google Search.

Share