European MPs want Apple Maps correction over Crimea controversy

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European MPs want Apple Maps correction over Crimea controversy
Apple has said it will look into the situation.
Photo: Andrew Butko/Wikimedia CC

A dozen members of the European Parliament have sent letters to Apple. They are demanding that it correct information Crimea, the Russian annexed peninsula. When viewed inside Russia, both Apple Maps and Apple Weather present Crimea as belonging to Russia.

Russian lawmakers made the initial request to Apple. But it seems that a whole lot of people are not happy about it.

European MPs talk Apple Maps’ Crimea situation

In their letter to Apple, the European MPs wrote that: “Our message is clear: no country can stand above the international rule of law. Therefore it is alarming that private companies such as Apple are ready to undermine these laws in order to maintain consumer relations with the Russian Federation.”

Mykola Tochytskyi, ambassador of Ukraine to Belgium, shared a copy of the letter on Twitter.

This isn’t the first that have politicians have spoken out about the situation. In the backlash that ensued, Ukranian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko said that Apple should stick to “high-tech and entertainment”.

Apple has already said that it will take a “deeper look at how we handle disputed borders” following the controversy.

Challenge of doing business internationally

Apple is in a tough situation when it comes to scenarios like this involving disputed territories. As an example, Apple has long banned the Taiwanese flag emoji in China. Dating back to the start of 2017, iOS banished the Taiwanese flag emoji whenever an iPhone’s location was set to China. This is not due to any political take on Apple’s part, but rather acquiescing to local laws.

This isn’t the only issue Apple faces in Russia right now. Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation that requires all phones and computers come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia. This could cause Apple a variety of challenges.

Source: Patently Apple