Apple has become the latest company to be drawn into the increasing hostilities between China and western companies over the ongoing Hong Kong protests.
Chinese state media has attacked the tech giant, stating it has “betrayed the feelings of the Chinese people” by approving the HKmap.live app.
HKmap is widely used by Hong Kong protestors and crowdsources real-time locations of police, protestors and traffic obstructions in the city.
“The developers of the map app had not hidden their malicious motive in providing ‘navigation’ for the rioters,” The People’s Daily stated.
“Apple chose to approve the app in the App Store in Hong Kong at this point. Does this mean Apple intended to be an accomplice to the rioters?”
It went on to accuse Apple of taking “inexplicable” actions related to the protests, including songs available on the Apple Music Store which advocate independence for Hong Kong.
Apple marks the latest in a growing number of western companies being drawn into the crisis, with China pressuring companies make their opposition to the protests clear.
Gaming manufacturer Blizzard Entertainment kicked professional esports gamer “Blitzchung” out of a competition and docked his prize money after he wore a gas mask with “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” written in Mandarin on it.
The NBA is also dealing with an ongoing PR battle after China took issue with the Houston Rocket’s manager’s tweet supporting to protests, which we reported on yesterday.