Lawmakers criticizing Apple and Blizzard for censoring Hong Kong app

Apple and Blizzard were heavily criticized by the Lawmakers for censoring the Chinese app. After banning the Hong Kong maps app from App Store, the relation between Apple and China got a bit strained. This HKmaps application was used by Hong Kong protesters and Apple gave access to this app only to stop it in the following week.

Now, regarding this issue the US lawmakers, Ted Cruz and AOC expressed their concern. First they addressed that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc, is expressing his concern and reason behind banning the HKmaps app from the App Store.

According to Apple, activists are using this HKmaps app to track the presence of police around the city. Apple claims that the app is misused for criminal activities and so they removed the app from its App store. But as per the creators statement, there is no evidence or information supporting their claim. And so the Apple was criticized by the Lawmakers.

Senators and representatives like Tom Cotton (senator of Arkansas), Ron Wyden (senator of Oregon), Ted Cruz (senator of Texas), Marco Rubio (senator of Florida), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), U.S. representative, U.S. representative Tom Malinski (New Jersey), and U.S. representative Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin) signed the letter written to Tim Cook.

In the letter, they stated that censoring the HKmaps app to appease of the government of China is concerning them deeply. They urged to show that Apple put values ahead of market access by taking the decision back. Also, they added that the company should support the pro-democracy activists who are fighting for dignity and some basic rights in Hong Kong.

However, Tim Cook wrote an open letter to his employees in which he states that they are removing the app because it violated the Hong Kong law and this decision was taken for the Hong Kong citizens safety only.

Tim Cook also mentioned that cyber security and technology crime bureau has send them the information regarding app misuse. It was misused to harass the individuals, target the police officers and even targeting properties where there is no police supervision. These all made the app to violate the Hong Kong law. Not only Hong Kong law, it also violated the App Store guidelines by promoting the abuse and causing personal harm.

They just not spoke about the HKmaps app in the letter addressed to Tim Cook. It also points out that Apple censored more than 2200 apps including VPNs. This in China hold backs the oppressed people with no means to protest against injustice.

Besides the first one, there was also a second letter addressing the Blizzard CEO, Robert Kotick. This letter was also signed by same lawmakers. It criticized the Blizzard for decision of banning Hearthstone player who supported the Hong Kong protesters. It also mentioned that how it would affect the gamers seeking to promote the basic freedom and human rights through their platform.

All these issues became a concern for Apple, Blizzard and other big corporations in US. We don’t know whether they will bend their backs to gain the Chinese market or not. However, it seems that they are not going to compromise values and morals for money.

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