In two letters, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sharply criticized Apple and Blizzard over their latest actions in China.
The first, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, expresses “strong concern” over the corporate’s choice to take away an app utilized by Hong Kong protesters from its App Store. The app, referred to as HKMap, tracked police presence and was utilized by pro-democracy activists, however was eliminated earlier this month after Apple claimed it was getting used for prison exercise. The app’s builders stated there was no proof of that, and Apple has been slammed for the transfer.
“Cases like these raise real concern about whether Apple and other large US corporate entities will bow to growing Chinese demands rather than lose access to a billion Chinese consumers,” the letter says.
The letter was signed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).
The second letter, signed by among the similar lawmakers, was despatched to Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick, and equally criticizes the corporate’s choice to ban a aggressive Hearthstone participant who voiced help for the Hong Kong protesters. The letter says the “disappointing decision could have a chilling effect on gamers who seek to use their platform to promote human rights and basic freedoms.”
The letters recommend the problem of Chinese censorship is one which each Democrats and Republicans are able to rally behind, to the detriment of corporations trying to function in the nation.
“You have the opportunity to reverse course,” the lawmakers wrote to Kotick. “We urge you to take it.”