The Chinese Communist Party's main newspaper on Wednesday criticized Apple over an app that allows pro-democracy protesters to report police movements in Hong Kong.
People’s Daily in a commentary said the app, HKmap.live, which is made by an outside supplier and available in the App Store, “facilitates illegal behavior," The Associated Press reported.
“Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?” the newspaper added.
“This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple,” People’s Daily warned. “Apple needs to think deeply.”
The app permits users to publicize police location, tear gas use and other details on a map, the AP reported, noting that another version is available on Android phones.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the AP he did not have information on whether the Chinese government asked Apple to take the app out of its store.
“What I can tell you is that these radical, violent crimes in Hong Kong have seriously challenged the legal system and social order in Hong Kong, threatened the safety of Hong Kong residents’ lives and property, and undermined the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” Geng said.
“Anyone who has a conscience and justice should resist and oppose instead of supporting and indulging those actions,” he said during a news briefing.
China's influence on U.S. companies has come into the spotlight in recent days after the general manager of the Houston Rockets basketball team tweeted in support of the protesters, prompting China to stop broadcasting NBA games.
The Hill has reached out to Apple for comment.
China is Apple's second-largest market and many Apple products are made in Chinese factories, employing hundreds of thousands of people.