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Apple slammed for riot ‘support’

Global Times | Published: November 13, 2019 17:07:53 | Updated: November 16, 2019 17:15:02


Chinese netisens and analysts slammed and urged Apple to stop facilitating rioters in Hong Kong as the company has allegedly been providing videos and songs in support of the Hong Kong riots, which analysts said violates China's law and would damage the brand in China.
"Lessons in Dissent," a 2015 documentary that tells the story of Hong Kong pro-West separatists and activists, including Joshua Wong Chi-fung, was found by mainland netisens on sale on iTunes, one of the products of the US tech giant.
The anti-government protest theme song, Glory to Hong Kong, which was removed on September 26, is available again on Apple Music and iTunes after netisens on LIHKG, a major social network platform used by rioters to incite violence and spread false information, reportedly requested the company to republish the song, otherwise they would boycott Apple products.
It is not the first time for Apple to approve controversial products that allegedly support Hong Kong rioters.
The company in early October approved an app in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that was used by rioters to escape arrest by reporting real-time locations of Hong Kong police.
Following a massive backlash from Chinese netisens, Apple removed the app on October 10, saying that they had verified that rioters had used the app to target and ambush police, threaten public safety and victimise residents.
Chinese analysts said Apple's capricious behaviour shows that the company is consistently promoting a political agenda in line with the West.
They warned that instead of being an accomplice of the rioters, Apple should protect the reputation of the brand and its Chinese market.
"As a globally renowned enterprise, Apple should demonstrate a great sense of corporate social responsibility by not facilitating illegal activities in Hong Kong and making the grave situation in Hong Kong more complicated," said Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies.
Persisting in actions that threaten Hong Kong's stability and China's national security will do Apple no good, Lau stressed.
Liang Haiming, a Hong Kong-based economist, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Apple was violating Chinese law by posting these products on its platform.
"Apple must remove such films and songs as soon as possible, unless it does not want to do business in China anymore," Liang noted.
Chinese netisens urged the company to remove the film and the song which violate China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Some called for a boycott of Apple products, and said they would buy domestic phones instead. Apple did not reply to a request for comment by Global Times as of press time.

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