Tim Cook: here's why Apple banned the Hong Kong protesters' maps app... again

Tim Cook: here's why Apple banned the Hong Kong protesters' maps app... again
In a "damned if you, damned if you don't" move, Apple's CEO Tim Cook defended the decision to pull down a map app used by Hong Kong protesters again. The first time it blocked the HKmap.live app access to the App Store on Tuesday, there was a media backlash, and Apple reinstated it on Wednesday.

Yesterday, however, a scathing piece in China's People's Daily newspaper seems to have done the job, and Apple blocked developers' access to the App Store again. Controversy is coming from unexpected places these days, and all of a sudden organizations like the NBA or companies like Apple are finding themselves on the lose-lose side of a trade dispute with China. 

For Apple, in particular, China is a complicated matter. It is both 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 and that is why he felt compelled to comment on a seemingly minor App Store decision, as if to clarify the matter before staff, here's the memo:

Needless to say, the app developers are not pleased with the decision, and protesters are not buying the explanations which come hot on the heels of other tech companies purging other related apps and even games that could potentially put them on the wrong side of dear leader.


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