- Apple CEO Tim Cook met with the chief of China’s market regulator on Thursday in Beijing.
- Cook and Xiao Yaqing, the head of China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, discussed topics including Apple’s investment in China, consumer rights protection, and corporate social responsibility, the regulator said.
- Apple has come under fire for removing an app, HKMap.live, that allowed Hong Kong protesters to track police movements, with Cook defending the decision on the grounds that the app “maliciously target[s] individual officers for violence.”
- Apple has not commented on the meeting as yet.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook met with a Chinese regulator days after his company booted a Hong Kong police-tracking app from the App Store.
According to a short statement from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, Cook met the agency’s chief, Xiao Yaqing, on Thursday to discuss a range of topics.
These included Apple’s investment in China, consumer rights protection, and corporate social responsibility. The statement did not elaborate on whether any other topics were discussed.
Business Insider has contacted Apple for comment.
Cook and Apple came under fire last week after Apple removed an app from its App Store – called HKMap.live – that let Hong Kong protestors track police. In a memo to staff, Cook said the app was being removed because it was being used to “maliciously target individual officers for violence.”
He said he had received “credible information” from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that violence of this nature was taking place. Prior to Apple’s decision to remove the app, the Chinese state newspaper, China Daily, had criticized Apple for allowing the app on the App Store.
Cook’s decision came despite considerable outcry from US lawmakers about Apple kowtowing to Chinese censorship.
A prominent Hong Kong lawmaker, Charles Mok, penned an open letter on Twitter criticizing the decision, saying: “I sincerely hope that Apple will choose to support its users and stop banning HKmap.live simply out of political reason [sic] or succumbing to China’s influence like other American companies appear to be doing.”
Mok’s letter added that “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.”
China remains a major market for Apple in spite of Chinese state media’s recent criticism. Greater China — covering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — was Apple’s third-biggest market in the third quarter this year, with revenue of $9.1 billion. The firm also remains dependent on China for much of its manufacturing.