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Following Apple's decision to reinstate the previously removed HKmap Live app, China's official news publication criticizes the firm and accuses it of aiding the protestors.
People's Daily, China's official state news publication, has called Apple's reinstating of the HKmap Live app an "unwise and reckless decision." In an editorial crouched mostly in questions instead of outright accusations, it suggests Apple is an accomplice to illegal acts, and perhaps of abandoning its social responsibilities.
While never naming HKmap Live, it says that Apple's decision to approve the iPhone app came just as rioters in the region allegedly stepped up their protest.
"In the past few days, the rioters have become more audacious and have conducted violent acts more frequently," says the People's Daily (English version). "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?"
"The map app is just the tip of the iceberg," it continues. "In the Apple Music Store in Hong Kong, there was also a song advocating 'Hong Kong independence.' Such a song was once removed from the music store and has resurrected."
"People have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision," it says.
The People's Daily also says the developers of the app had "ill intentions" and that Apple, "providing a gateway for 'toxic apps' is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people."
In a probable nod to the current trade tensions between the region and the US, the editorial concludes with what could be construed as a threat.
"Apple and other corporations should be able to discern right from wrong," the publication said. "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."
Apple has not responded to the editorial.