Bent on placating China, Apple bans a Hong Kong police location app

Bent on placating China, Apple bans a Hong Kong police location app
For Apple, China is a complicated matter. One of its largest revenue markets despite the singe-digit share, and the country where iPhone are made, the relationship with China always sits at the top of Tim Cook's agenda,

So much so that, when the White House administration began prepping for the current tough trade negotiating period with China, instead of lambasting the President as most other tech companies affected did, Tim Cook inserted himself as an indispensable adviser on the tariff matter.

Back in August, President Trump sat down with Apple's CEO, and talked tariffs over dinner for a second time. Unlike a lot of other Silicon Valley entities, Mr Cook has taken the path of least confrontation with the administration over its budding philosophical conflict with China over tariffs, intellectual property rights and the like, as it stands to lose a lot if things go awry.

Needless to say, he doesn't put it this way but instead says that tariffs on iPhones will end up helping Samsung - "a very good competitor" - and the President seems to have been convinced at the time that Samsung is a South Korean company and shouldn't be getting ahead of Apple due to an administration whose slogan is "Make America great again."

In the latest installment of "Apple placates China," however, the collateral damage are the Hong Kong protesters which saw one of their specialized iOS apps get pulled from the App Store on Tuesday. On what grounds?


The HKmap Live was basically an app package of a crowdsourced pin-dropper, like so many out there, for protest routes and locations, themes and police presence, so the developers argue that Apple could simply ban Waze on those grounds, too. 

It's not the same for Apple, though, given the precarious position it is in over its dependence on smooth relationships with China, so it decided not to risk the anger of the big guy over the small guy. 

After Google's ban over Android for Huawei phones, many a Chinese citizen have been patriotically ditching iPhones in defense of local brands, too, so Apple has many, many dogs in this fight at all times, and HKmap Live is just the last chapter in the saga.

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5 Comments

1. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Apple continues to sell out in China for them $$$$$

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 2171; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Don’t you or anyone else pretend to give a rats ass about human rights abuses in China. Apple, like your god Samsung, does what they have to do.

3. TBomb

Posts: 1547; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

One could make a case that Apple would not "do what they have to do" because Apple did not listen to the US Gov when they requested (demanded?) that iPhone be unlocked. However, China is a crucial, not-yet-won piece in Apple's market share dominance. And Tim Cook has recently been more outspoken about his opinion on government decisions both local and abroad, yet is keeping quiet on this one as to not upset their Gov. One could interpret this as Apple just looking for money. This is, of course, all speculation and none of us will probably ever know the truth for sure.

4. JRPG_Guy

Posts: 146; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

Money rules. Not morality

5. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

This is the BS of a walled garden system.... They control what you hear and see. Get off a walled garden and go to a platform where YOU CAN install whatever YOU want.... not what the overlords deem you should see and hear.

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