Apple has become another company that has angered the Chinese authorities over protests in Hong Kong. The company has included in its application store a program that tracks police in a special administrative area, writes The Wall Street Journal, and in China this was perceived as supporting protests.
Details It’s about the crowdsourcing application HKmap.live for iOS, which shows on a map of Hong Kong police, protesters, cameras, barricades, the use of bullets and tear gas by the police. A dog is used as a police badge – this was considered an additional insult in China.
- The official “People’s Daily” attacked Apple, calling the program offensive. “Apple, like other companies, must make a distinction between right and wrong and remember that both Hong Kong and China are prosperous for its market position,” the article says.
- Apple has not commented on these allegations. But the company has something to lose in China: its quarterly sales in the country are approaching $ 10 billion.
It has become more difficult for foreign companies to operate in China for political reasons. If earlier all they had to do was comply with the “Three T rule” (pretend that there were no problems in Tibet and Taiwan, but there were no clashes on Tiananmen Square in 2019), now Hong Kong has been added to the forbidden list, writes The New York Times.
- This was demonstrated by the great scandal that began last week, which grew out of a single tweet in support of the protests of the Houston Rockets club manager at the National Basketball Association (NBA) club. Seven words of the tweet resulted in an NBA boycott, the cessation of the broadcast of the team’s games and potentially threatened with the loss of the contract for $ 1.5 billion.
- This week, even Tiffany jewelry came under fire, showing a model covering her right eye with her hand. In China, they saw a reference to a photo of a protesting girl with a black rubber bullet eye. The company was not saved by the fact that the photo of the model was taken before the start of the protests.
- If companies comply with the requirements of the authorities, this also harms their image. This is what Vans did, dying out of the shoe design competition with models with references to prostheses. But in response, several retailers in Hong Kong removed Vans clothes and shoes from the windows.