Apple is the latest in a series of foreign companies and organizations to have come under fire in China for their alleged support of Hong Kong protesters.
Chinese state-run newspaper People's Daily on Wednesday accused the US tech giant of helping Hong Kong protesters ‘engage in more violence’ through a transport app.
‘This mobile app claims to provide transportation information for the convenience of the public, but is actually used to identify the whereabouts of the police, allowing the rioters in Hong Kong to go on violent acts,’ the paper said.
‘Apple's approval for the app obviously helps rioters. What was its true intention?’ the paper added.
The publication also complained about the presence in the Apple Music store of a song advocating for Hong Kong's independence from China.
‘Nobody wants to drag Apple into the lingering unrest in Hong Kong,’ the paper said. ‘But people have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts.
‘Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.’ Meanwhile, US lawmakers have criticized organizations including the NBA and video game developer Blizzard Entertainment for seemingly caving in to Beijing in exchange for market access, highlighting the ripple effects abroad of China's clampdown on freedom of expression.
State broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday suspended its broadcasts of NBA pre-season China games after the basketball league's head defended the right of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to speak out in support of the protesters.
Morey found himself in the middle of a controversy on Friday after he tweeted a since-deleted message to ‘Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.’ On Tuesday, Chinese activewear company Anta, which has endorsement deals with stars including Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, announced it would halt contract renewal negotiations with the NBA.