Apple approved HKmap Live last week after checking its decision to initially dismiss the app from the App Store.
However, on Wednesday Apple was criticized by Chinese state media for its decision to make the app available. "It is a betrayal of the feelings of the Chinese people when toxic software prevails," said the People's Daily .
The app has since been removed from the App Store, and Apple made the following statement:
We've set up the App Store as a safe and trusted app discovery location. We've learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in a way that jeopardizes law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately started investigating it. The app displays the locations of the police, and we checked with the Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau in Hong Kong that the app was used to attack the police, endanger public safety, and criminals used them to target residents in areas harass, in which they know that there is no law enforcement. This app violates our policies and local laws, and we removed them from the App Store.
In a series of tweets the developers of HKmap Live stated they disagreed with Apple's claim that the app was jeopardizing the law enforcement and local residents in Hong Kong, arguing that "there is no evidence that Support the CSTCB [the Hong Kong Police Force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau] allegation that the HKmap app was used to attack the police and threaten public safety, and that criminals have victimized residents in areas they live in. I know it there is no prosecution. "
– HKmap.live (@hkmaplive) October 10, 2019
Demonstrations in the city-state began in March in response to a unsigned law that threatened to allow extradition to Chinese mainland. Since then, the protests must be expanded to demand that Hong Kong retain its broader democratic rights. The Special Administrative Region maintains separate government and economic systems based on the principle of "one country, two systems" from mainland China.
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