Apple removes Hong Kong map app after Chinese criticism

Apple drops app that allows activists in Hong Kong to report police movements from its online store following Chinese criticism

BEIJING -- Apple Inc. has removed a smartphone app that allowed Hong Kong activists to report police movements from its online store following official Chinese criticism.

HKmap.live was available on Apple's store early Thursday but had disappeared by midday.

The app's developers distributed a message they said was from Apple that said HKmap.live was removed because it "has been used to target and ambush police" and "threaten public safety."

Apple became the latest company to come under pressure to take Beijing's side against the demonstrators when the ruling Communist Party newspaper on Wednesday said HKmap.live "facilitates illegal behavior" and asked whether Apple was "guiding Hong Kong thugs."

Apple didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.