WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of seven US legislators, including Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio, and MEP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called for Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ) , Managing Director Tim Cook restores the HKMap app used in Hong Kong.
FILE PHOTO: The HKmap.live app is displayed on a phone screen in this photo illustration in Hong Kong, China, October 10, 2019. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
Earlier this month, Apple removed the app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police raids, claiming that officials were being attacked.
Apple declined to comment.
The group separately wrote the CEO of Activision Blizzard Inc. ( ATVI.O ) and asked him to reverse the company's decision to ban a player who stood up for democratic protests in Hong Kong do. Activision Blizzard did not comment immediately on Friday.
"You said publicly that you want to work with China's leaders to bring about change rather than sitting on the sideline yelling at them. Also we believe that diplomacy and trade can be forces of democratization. But when a repressive government refuses to develop, or when it doubles, the collaboration can become a complicity, "members wrote to Cook.
Apple announced on October 9 that an immediate investigation was initiated after "many affected Hong Kong customers" had contacted the app and the company found it had endangered law enforcement and residents.
The HKMap app states that "the police have been attacked and attacked, threatened with public safety, and have harassed criminals with residents in areas where they know there is no prosecution." Critics said Apple responded to pressure from Beijing in a commentary in the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper.
Lawmakers said Apple has censored at least 2,200 apps in China, citing the nonprofit GreatFire.
Apple's action took place in the midst of the excitement of the US Basketball Association after a team official tweeted in support of the protests in Hong Kong that prompted Chinese sponsors and partners to cut ties with the NBA.
Last week, Blizzard reduced the sentence imposed on Chung Ng Wai, a Hong Kong-based Hearthstone esports player, for publicly supporting pro-democracy protests after his decision sparked controversy among gamblers and the public.
Blizzard Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, initially announced that the player would be excluded from the competition for a year and the prize money stripped.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Daniel Wallis