Image via South China Morning Post

## What you need to know

  • A Hong Kong councilor and entrepeneur has written an open letter to Tim Cook.
  • The letter expresses frustration and dissapointment at Apple's decision to ban mapping app HKmap.live.
  • Calls on Tim Cook and Apple to "uphold its commitment to free expression."

A Hong Kong legislative councilor and tech entrepreneur has written an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, pleading with him to prioritize "uphold its commitment to free expression."

Chaerles Mok took to Twitter to publish the open letter sent to Tim Cook.

In the letter Mok states:

As a user of the app, and as a citizen of Hong Kong, I am deeply disappointed with Apple's decision to ban the app and would like to contest the claims made by Honk Kong Police Force's Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB)

Mok goes on to claim that there are " numerous cases" of innocent passersby being injured by Hong Kong Police Force's excessive force used to disperse crowds. He states that the user generated data on the app helps citizens to avoid areas where pedestrians not involved in criminal activity might be subjected to what he describes as "police brutality". Mok also cites the numerous user reviews which show how the app has helped HK residents, journalists and tourists identify danger zones and avoid being hurt by tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, bean-bag rounds and water cannons.

He concluded by saying:

As a long-time user of Apple products and services, I highly appreciate that Apple has been championing freedom of expression as one of the corporation's tenets. I sincerely hope Apple will choose to support its uesrs and stop banning KHmap.live simply out of political reason or succumbing to China's influence like other American companies appear to be doing. We Hongkongers will definitely look closely at wheter Apple chooses to uphold its commitment to free expression and other basic human rights, or become an accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression.

Mok's letter does not mince words. Furthermore, it marks the growing storm of bad press surrounding Apple's dealings in the region, mostly in response to HKmap.live. The news comes in the wake of a leaked memo from Tim Cook to Apple's employees explaining why it took the decision to ban the app. In the memo, Cook cited "credible" information that officers were being targed by violence through the app.