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Apple removes Quartz's app for Hong Kong protest coverage

Quartz received a notice from Apple saying the app was being removed "because it includes content that is illegal in China."

IANS IANS
New Delhi Updated on: October 11, 2019 11:09 IST
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Apple has pulled down Quartz's app from its App store

Apple has allegedly removed the app of news website Quartz, which has been covering the Hong Kong protests in detail, from its App Store.

Quartz received a notice from Apple saying the app was being removed "because it includes content that is illegal in China," reports CBS News.

The news outlet also said that its entire website is inaccessible in mainland China.

"We abhor this kind of government censorship of the internet, and have great coverage of how to get around such bans around the world," said Zach Seward, CEO of Quartz, in a statement.

Apple was yet to comment on the development.

Earlier, the Cupertino-based technology giant removed an Hkmap.live's iPhone application, allegedly used by the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong to track and attack the country's police.

Apple in a statement said that the Hkmap.live application was no longer available on iPhone App Store.

"We have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimise residents in the areas, where they know there is no law enforcement," the Apple statement said.

It added that "this app violates our guidelines and local laws". Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the move in a letter written to Apple employees stating “this decision best protects our users.” He added, “National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts.”

Apple's decision comes a day after the Chinese state-run People's Daily newspaper criticised Apple for allowing the application to be used on its mobile devices.

"Providing a gateway for 'toxic apps' is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people," the paper said, confirming that Hkmap.live opened the door to violent protests.

Meanwhile, The HKmap.live developer criticised Apple's decision to remove it from App Store.

In a tweet, the developer said the app doesn't "solicit, promote, or encourage criminal activity."

There's "zero evidence to support CSTCB's (Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau) accusation that HKmap App has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety," the developer tweeted. 

The Android version of the HKmap.live is still available in the Google Play store.

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