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Apple removes app used by Hong Kong protesters

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Apple has removed HKmap.live from its App Store after Hong Kong protesters were using the app to mark locations of police and inform others of street closures.

Apple originally did not allow the app into the store earlier this month, but reversed its decision a few days later. Now it is walking back its reversal, according to a statement they released:

“We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it. The app displays police locations and 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 victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the App Store.”

HKmap developers pushed back against Apple’s statement, saying there is “zero evidence” and that “HKmapp App never solicits, promotes, or encourages criminal activity.”

HKmap.live’s web version is currently available on the mobile browser on iPhone.