U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle united to strongly criticize Apple over last week’s decision to pull a live map app used by protestors in Hong Kong.
The bipartisan group, which included Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook voicing “strong concern” over Apple’s decision to remove HKmap.live from the App Store.
Tensions have escalated between mainland China and semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which has been embroiled in protests sparked by a proposed law that would expedite criminal suspects from Hong Kong to China.
Cook defended Apple’s decision to pull the app after Hong Kong officials presented “credible information” that protestors were using the app to commit violence against individuals and property.
Strong rebukes immediately appeared on Twitter and media outlets, including some of the vary U.S. lawmakers that signed the letter dated today.
“Cases like these raise real concern about whether Apple and other large US corporate entities will bow to growing Chinese demands rather than lose access to a billion Chinese consumers,” the letter states.
Along with Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez, the letter’s signees included Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-NJ, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-WI, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR.
The letter comes one day after Cook was in Beijing to meet with China’s chief market regulator. According to a brief statement from the Chinese government, Cook and Xiao Yaqing discussed expanding investment in China, consumer rights protection ion and corporate responsibility.
Source: The Verge