Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Chinese State Media Accuses Apple of ‘Protecting Rioters’

Verna Yu, the Guardian:

The app HKmap.live, which crowdsources the location of police and anti-government protesters, was approved by Apple on 4 October and went on its App Store a day later, after the company reversed an earlier decision to reject the submission, according to an anonymous developer cited in the South China Morning Post. The app displays hotspots on a map of the city that is continuously updated as users report incidents, hence allowing protesters to avoid police.

The headline of the People’s Daily commentary carried by its official microblog on Wednesday said: “Protecting rioters – Has Apple thought clearly about this?”

It went on to say: “Allowing the ‘poisonous’ app to flourish is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings.”

Someone in the Chinese government ought to familiarize themselves with the Streisand Effect — if Techdirt isn’t already blocked in the country.

Apple should absolutely not acquiesce to China’s demands. HKmap.live ought to remain in the App Store. But it is extraordinarily risky for Apple to resist an authoritarian force that controls the export and, therefore, sale of nearly every product they make.

Update: In an inauspicious development, John Keefe of Quartz says that Apple has succumbed to Chinese government pressure and pulled the publication’s app from the App Store in Hong Kong.

Update: Apple has removed HKmap.live from the App Store in Hong Kong. Shameful.