US lawmakers on both sides have criticized Apple on Friday and CEO Tim Cook for "censoring demands" at "the behest of the Chinese government". Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and representatives from Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, Mike Gallagher and Tom Malinowski have expressed concern about the withdrawal of a request to allow protesters from Hong Kong to follow the police in the city.
"Apple's decision last week to accommodate the Chinese government by eliminating HKmaps is extremely worrying," they wrote in a letter to Cook urging Apple to "turn the tide," to demonstrate that Apple valued values in relation to market access. "Men and women fight for human rights and dignity in Hong Kong. "Apple did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Apple has removed the HKmap. Live application of the App Store in China and Hong Kong earlier this month, claiming it violated local laws. The company also said it received "credible information" from the Hong Kong authorities that the software was being used "maliciously" to attack the police. The decision and reasoning have been widely questioned.
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Cook, in a recent note to Apple employees, said that "national and international debates will outlive us all and that they are important, they do not govern the facts". The CEO met with Chinese chief executive Xiao Yaqing in Beijing on Thursday. to discuss the protection of consumer rights, investment incentives and business development in the country, according to a statement from the Chinese regulator.
"Cases like this raise real concerns about whether Apple and other big US companies will comply with China's growing demands rather than losing access to more than a billion Chinese consumers, "he said. wrote the legislator.
They also criticized Apple for deleting other apps, including VPN apps that helped the Chinese get around government online censorship. The letter says Apple has "censored" at least 2,200 apps in China, citing data from the nonprofit organization GreatFire. Apple said on its website that it removed 634 apps in the second half of last year worldwide due to legal violations.