First the Cupertino group has allowed the re-publication on the App Store of an application previously deleted and called HKmap Live, developed with the aim of keeping track of police activity in the streets of Hong Kong, for months now affected by protest movements. Then the headboard People's Daily (controlled by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party) has given notice to Apple possible consequences in case of non-elimination. Shortly afterwards, the app disappeared and was no longer available for download by resident users China.
HKmap Live and Quartz via the App Store
Very similar dynamics for the application of Quartz, portal that from the first moment has published detailed reports on what is happening in Hong Kong. Within the borders of the Asian country it is no longer possible to download it on the iPhone and iPad. The bitten apple therefore seems to have consented to yet another request from Beijing, presumably as happened in the past few days when the Taiwanese flag disappeared from the iOS keyboards of those residing in HK and Macao. It had already happened in 2017 with the official app of the New York Times, again at the request of the Chinese government.
At this time no statements have been received from Apple. The latest update to newsroom of the official website is the one that in recent days has announced the arrival of macOS 10.15 Catalina. The Cupertino company is not the only one that in these days is in the uncomfortable position of having to manage on one side requests from the Chinese authorities and on the other the discontent of those who legitimately ask for the maxim protection of freedom of speech and expression.
China, with its huge pool of potential users and customers, represents a market in which the giants of the hi-tech and online world intend to move with extreme caution, in search of a balance that is often difficult to establish, even in view of the growing tensions that bind the country to the United States at commercial level and beyond.