In a Friday letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, a bipartisan group of US congressmen criticized the tech giant's decision to remove HKmap.live, an app used by protesters in Hong Kong, from the App Store.
"Apple's decision last week to receive the Chinese government by taking down HKMaps is deeply troubling," the letter reads. "We urge you in the strongest terms to reverse the course, to show that Apple values market access and to stand with the brave men and women who are fighting for fundamental rights and dignity in Hong Kong."
The letter is signed by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, along with Republican sen. Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Ted Cruz in Texas and Marco Rubio in Florida. They are joined by Republican ropes. Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin and Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski from New Jersey and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.
The letter follows the app's removal and Cook's meeting with China's market regulator in Beijing on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple removed HKmap.live, a mapping app that collects sources for police and protesters' locations in Hong Kong, from the Store app, saying it violates the store's guidelines and local laws. HKmap tweeted last Thursday that it does not agree with Apple's claim that the app jeopardized law enforcement and Hong Kong residents.
The protests, which have been going on since March 2019, were initially aimed at legislation that would have allowed people arrested in Hong Kong to be transferred to and tried in China. The extradition proposal has since been withdrawn, but demonstrations have been expanded to include other complaints and demands for greater democracy.