The app, which shares information on the location of pro-democracy protests and police activity in Hong Kong, was narrowed down by China Daily – owned by the Communist Party of China – to enable "insurgents in Hong Kong to go on violent acts, "adding that Apple must" think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision. "
However, HKmaps creators say there is no evidence that the app has been used to target police or threaten public safety . They added that apps like Waze, which use crowdsourced information to help users avoid traffic cameras and police, are still allowed in the App Store, noting that they are sure there have been occasions where criminal activity has been discussed and encouraged on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. HKmap is still available on the desktop.
Critics say that Apple's decision to remove the app is just another example of the company's kowtowing to the economically influential country. Two years ago, Apple pulled all the VPN apps from the App Store in China, while recently removing the Taiwan flag emojis from the iOS keyboards to Hong Kong users, in a move many claimed was designed to satisfy Apple's third-largest market. [1