China warns Apple over 'reckless decision' to readmit the Hong Kong protests app
Just a day after banning the HKmap app from its application store, Apple reinstated it to the pleasure of its developers and the chagrin of the People's and China Daily newspapers. The official mouthpieces of the ruling party ran two concurrent stories
On one side, it was lambasting NBA commissioner Adam Silver's free speech tirade over the infamous Houston Rocket general manager's tweet that expressed support for protesters in Hong Kong.
The show of support by the NBA commissioner over the now-deleted tweet comes hot on the heels of Apple reinstating HKmap - a repackaged iOS pin-dropper used by Hong Kong protesters to mark live demonstrations, police presence, and general altercations to avoid.
This apparently was way too much for Chinese state media, and the second piece in People's Daily was targeted directly at Apple. While keeping the tone civil, the article mused whether Apple is taking a political side by allowing the HKmap.live app developers to resubmit it a day after its ban became media fodder.
The piece goes even further, though, warning that "the map app is just the tip of the iceberg," and Apple also has allowed access to a hit Hong Kong protest marching song in its Music app. If that sounds nitpicky, it's because you don't know how China takes offence in such disloyalty shown by foreign companies it has given access to its vast market to.
Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.
Overall, China makes clear that it is not happy with any explicit or implicit support of the brouhaha over Hong Kong, and is willing to take countermeasures, be it towards the NBA or Apple itself:
Apple and other corporations should be able to discern right from wrong. They also need to know that only the prosperity of China and China’s Hong Kong will bring them a broader and more sustainable market.
Poor Apple, always on the losing side of Chinese patriotism, first with the White House ban on Huawei phones that sparked a backlash and a lot of iPhone swapping in Huawei's motherland, and now with the on/off Hong Kong map app. You can't win this thing.