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Apple approves Hong Kong protest location app

HKmap Live screen grabImage copyright
HKmap Live

Image caption

HKmap Live shows the location of police

An app that tracks the location of police patrols in Hong Kong is now available via Apple, despite the firm’s reservations about its potential use.

Apple had said the crowd-sourced HKmap Live, which also tracks tear-gas use, was not permitted because it “enables and encourages” illegal activity.

Yet the app was already available on Google Play.

The BBC understands the app had never been available on Apple’s App Store and was at no stage deleted.

Bloomberg reported that Apple had told the developer: “Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement” in an area beset by unrest and anti-government protest.

But the anonymous developer tweeted from the account HKmap.live to say that no “legal complaints” had been received since the launch of the app two months ago.

Responding to the news that it was now on the App Store, the developer said there would be no further comment.

“We understand Apple have many business considerations, but since they already make things right I don’t see any point to keep pressing,” they wrote.

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