Prominent Hong Kong lawmaker warns Apple of becoming an ‘accomplice for Chinese censorship’

In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, A prominent Hong Kong lawmaker and IT entrepreneur, Charles Mok, has warned Apple of becoming “an accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression.”

Charlie Wood for BusinessInsider:

Charles Mok, who represents the Information Technology functional constituency on the Hong Kong Legislative Council, made the comments in an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Mok’s letter focused on Apple’s recent decision to remove an app called, which allows its users to track Hong Kong police presence.

We Hongkongers will definitely look closely at whether Apple chooses to uphold its commitment to free expression and other basic human rights, or become an accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression. — Charles Mok

After censure from US lawmakers and the press, Tim Cook defended the app’s removal on Thursday in a memo sent to Apple employees. In particular, Cook said the app was being used to cause unwarranted violence. Critics say this is a Chinese state talking point.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s rather pathetic kowtowing to China, the HKmap 即時地圖 app is not a requirement for accessing the HKmap Live service as it remains available online to Hongkongers and everyone here:

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. — John Perry Barlow

• The most important thing is: Do you have the courage to admit that you’re wrong? And do you change? The most important thing to me as a CEO is that we keep the courage. — Tim Cook


  1. If the Chinese people hate their government so much, then why don’t they rise up and change it? It’s not Tim
    Cook’s job to help bring a revolution in China. Why do people want him to subvert the laws of a sovereign nation? The Chinese people seem to be fine with heavy handed censorship; many even brag about their governmental system being superior to ours. Why shouldn’t Apple abide by their rules and regulations if they want to do business there?

    1. Fine if Cook prioritizes profit, but then don’t include in speeches the championing of human rights. That’s hypocritical and just manipulative, especially for one in a leadership position. It’s dishonourable and earns disrespect.

    1. R2: If a woman is in an abusive relationship that’s so painful/inhumane, why doesn’t she just stand up for herself, or simply leave?

      If your neighbor regularly mistreats their dog and one sees and hears such treatment, the best response is just to wait for the city’s Animal Control to assist, PETA to object, or for the dog to flee through the hole in the fence.

      The principles of equality, freedom and sovereignty are held highly by all people…esp (maybe only?) if they “know” them. TC doesn’t just know them, he historically shouts them from his high position at Apple…sometimes defiantly to the objections of US customers and holders of AAPL. Curiously, there is no such defiance when it’s deserved…as dictatorships have nothing to do with, equality, freedom and sovereignty.

      “But, but, we can’t do that,”
      Business is our highest value. We can’t proceed with any action that might put business (my income, my profit, my cap gains) in jeopardy.

  2. Although the app is not “required” it’s considerably easier for China to block the site than the app. The app, for example, could simply change the location of where it gets its data from.

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