The People's Daily, official newspaper of the Communist Party, has blasted Apple for providing a program in its App Store that can be used to track police activity in Hong Kong, as sometimes-violent protests continue to roil the city.
A scathing Chinese-language editorial published Tuesday on the newspaper’s mobile app and social media pages did not mention the offending app by name. But the criticism is believed to be a reaction to the popular mapping service HKmap.live, which allows users to upload real-time updates on developments across the city. HKmap.live has found a receptive audience among demonstrators following a slew of violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement.
Apple had “opened the gates to those causing violence and chaos in Hong Kong,” the editorial said. Failing to root out such “poisonous software” represented a “betrayal to Chinese people’s feelings” and such “distortions” of Hong Kong’s affairs “go against the will of the Chinese people,” it added. The commentary also criticized the American tech giant for hosting a song advocating Hong Kong independence on its iTunes music store.
The piece had been viewed over 3.57 million times by Wednesday.
Apple previously banned HKmap.live from the App Store, but reversed the decision on Friday. The American company has not commented on the editorial.