Apple Inc has removed an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police movements, saying it was used to target officers, after a Chinese state newspaper sharply criticized the U.S. tech giant for allowing the software, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Chief Executive Tim Cook defended the move in the face of criticism for appeasing mainland China, telling Apple workers that “this decision best protects our users.”
The move to bar the HKmap.live app, which crowdsources the locations of both police and protesters, from its app store plunges Apple into the increasingly fraught political tension between China and the protesters that has also ensnared other U.S. and Hong Kong businesses.
The company only just last week had approved the app after rejecting it earlier this month.
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Thursday said it had dropped a game from its app store that allowed players to pretend they were Hong Kong protesters, saying its policies forbid capitalizing on ongoing sensitive events.