The Strategist

Why are US companies ditching Hong Kong?

10/17/2019 - 11:12

The application, which was actively used by residents of Hong Kong, disappeared from the App Store, the Verge reports. Protesters, who have been taking to the streets since March of this year, tracked movements of police officers using this app.

Studio Incendo via flickr
Studio Incendo via flickr
At the same time, Apple, which deliberately removed the service from its store, claims that it violated the rules of the App Store.

The developer of HKmap claims that the allegations by the Cybersecurity Bureau have not been confirmed.

“The HKmap app has never encouraged criminal activity. HKmap combines information from user and public sources, for example, news streams, Facebook or Telegram,” the service representative said.

It also became known that the Quartz news portal application disappeared from the App Store, as it widely covered protests in Hong Kong. It is reported that the reason for the removal was a complaint by the Chinese authorities.

In addition, Quartz has become unavailable to all residents of mainland China.

It’s easy to see who exactly Apple supports in the conflict between Hong Kong residents and Beijing. However, it is not the first time when Apple follows the Chinese authorities. It’s not a secret to anyone that most of Apple’s production is located in China, so the company has to comply with all requirements and respond quickly to criticism from the Chinese government. US President Donald Trump has long offered the firm to transfer all plants to America, but it is extremely unprofitable for Apple in economic terms.

Another company that openly opposed Hong Kong protesters and supported Beijing was Blizzard, a game developer and publisher. Last week, a professional Hearthstone player, Chung 'blitzchung' Ng Wai, during an interview after a contest, said that Hong Kong must be "free", because he himself was from this city.

Soon after, Blizzard suspended him from the games for a year and stripped him of all prizes. This decision by the company, which, as expected, also has big plans for the Chinese market, resulted in a flurry of criticism from both industry and US officials. 

Blizzard employees also expressed disagreement with the company’s management, having held a small protest in the California office. Employees of the company took to the streets to express dissatisfaction with this approach to freedom fighters. Particularly acute in this situation is the fact that one of the provisions of Blizzard’s policy is the phrase “Every Voice Matters”. 

The confrontation between China and the United States is becoming more extensive, as others issues are being added to the trade war. The development of the conflict confirms the thesis that Trump's initiation of trade wars is not the declared trade deficit, but the struggle for leadership. As a result, the economy and private business are suffering, since there are a lot of points of contact between the PRC and the United States due to the ongoing globalization.