Hong Kong


'Hong Kong' Articles

Tim Cook Defends Removal of Hong Kong Mapping App From App Store in Leaked Memo

Apple CEO Tim Cook has written to employees defending the company's controversial decision to pull an app used by Hong Kong protestors to coordinate gatherings and avoid large concentrations of police. Apple removed HKMap Live from the App Store on Thursday following the app's approval last week, which itself only came after an internal review of the company's original decision to reject it. Apple's reversal came after the Chinese Communist Party's flagship newspaper criticized Apple for letting the app into its store. In a company-wide memo, a verified copy of which has been reproduced on Pastebin, Cook told staff that the decision to remove the app was not easy, but that Apple had received "credible information" from Hong Kong police that the app was being used to target individuals for violence. Here's the memo in full: Team, You have likely seen the news that we made the decision to remove an app from the ‌App Store‌ entitled HKmap.live. These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate. It’s out of my great respect for the work you do every day that I want to share the way we went about making this decision. It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different. The app in question allowed for the crowdsourced reporting and mapping of police checkpoints, protest hotspots, and other information. On its own, this information is benign. However, over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and

Apple Pulls Hong Kong Protest App From App Store Following Chinese Criticism [Updated]

Apple has pulled an app from the App Store that Hong Kong protestors have been using to track police movements, saying it violates the company's guidelines and local laws. Apple approved HKmap Live last week after reviewing its decision to initially reject the app from the ‌App Store‌. However, on Wednesday Apple was criticized by Chinese state media for its decision to make the app available. "Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people's feelings," said the People's Daily. The app has since been delisted from the ‌App Store‌ and Apple has issued the following statement: We created the ‌App Store‌ to be a safe and trusted place to discover apps. We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it. The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the ‌App Store‌.In a series of tweets, the developers of HKmap Live said they disagreed with Apple's claim that the app endangered law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong, and argued that "there is zero evidence to support CSTCB's [the Hong Kong Police Force’s Cyber Security and

China Accuses Apple of 'Protecting Rioters' After Approving HKmap Live for the App Store

Apple has come under attack from China for allowing an app in its App Store that is being used by Hong Kong protestors to track protests and police movements in the city state (via The Guardian). Last week we reported that Apple was reviewing its decision to reject the HKmap Live app from the ‌App Store‌ while it investigated whether the software violates local laws. HKmap Live has been used extensively by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong to crowdsource information about street closures and police presence. Apple ultimately approved the app, which has become the most downloaded app under the travel category in the iOS ‌App Store‌ for Hong Kong – a fact that appears to have attracted the ire of the mainland Chinese administration. On Wednesday, China's state media accused the tech giant of endorsing and protecting "rioters" in Hong Kong's ongoing protests. The condemnation came via the People's Daily, a recognized Chinese Communist party mouthpiece. The commentary, the print-version of which ran with the headline "Protecting rioters – Has Apple thought clearly about this?", denounced Apple for "allowing the poisonous app to flourish," which it called "a betrayal of the Chinese people's feelings." It said Apple's approval of HKmap Live, which it did not specifically name, made it an "accomplice" in the protests because it "blatantly protects and endorses the rioters," and questioned what the company's intentions were. It also criticized Apple for allowing Glory to Hong Kong – an unofficial anthem frequently sung by protesters during the ongoing

Apple Bans App That Allowed Hong Kong Protestors to Track Police Movements [Updated x2]

Apple has reportedly banned an app that allows Hong Kong protestors to track protests and police movements in the city state, despite increasing international condemnation against the violence used by the authorities. According to The Register, Apple has told the makers of the HKmap Live app that it can't be allowed in the App Store because it helps protestors to evade the police. "Your app contains content - or facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity - that is not legal ... specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement," the American tech giant told makers of the HKmap Live on Tuesday before pulling it.Opposition to the Chinese state and the Hong Kong authorities has grown louder, driven by an escalation in violence against protestors over the past week. On Wednesday, thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to denounce the shooting of an unarmed teenage student by police. Tsang Chi-kin was shot in the chest at point-blank range on Tuesday. He remains in hospital in stable but critical condition after surgery to remove the bullet, which narrowly missed his heart. The rise in police violence has led protesters to make use of digital networking and collaborative tools to organize street gatherings, with services like HKmap Live being used to help them avoid what they perceive as government-orchestrated attacks. This isn't the first time Apple has acted to remove apps from the ‌App Store‌ to abide by Chinese law. In July 2017, Apple removed the majority of VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed

Hong Kong's Octopus Transit Card to Support Apple Pay Later This Year [Updated]

Update - Jul 11: Octopus Cards Limited has now confirmed that customers will be able to use their Octopus cards on their iPhone or Apple Watch for transit and retail payment with Apple Pay later this year. Original story below. (Hong Kong,11 Jul 2019) Octopus Cards Limited is excited to announce that customers will be able to use their Octopus on their iPhone or ‌Apple Watch‌ for transit and retail payment with ‌Apple Pay‌ later this year. More details will be shared soon. @MacRumors @9to5mac @appleinsider pic.twitter.com/e2wurzcKgs— ST (@TWaIIk) July 11, 2019 iOS 13 may come with built-in support for Hong Kong's Octopus contactless payment system, if a few lines of code discovered on Apple's servers are any indication. Tech blog Ata Distance spotted the code snippet in Apple's online JSON-based ‌Apple Pay‌ pass identifier (link now removed), which shows references to Octopus in iOS 13. The discovery also tallies with specific references to Octopus on ‌Apple Pay‌ in the ‌iOS 13‌ beta, according to the Japan-focused site. Octopus is based on the same FeliCa NFC standard used for the Japanese Suica card, and is used by the vast majority of Hong Kong residents for making transit payments and retail transactions. Originally launched in 1997 as a physical contactless card, the FeliCa-based version made the transition to electronic payment solution when the company unveiled Smart Octopus for Samsung Pay in December 2017. The exclusive deal with Samsung left ‌Apple Pay‌ users without a way to take advantage Smart Octopus, despite it being technically

Citibank Now Offers Apple Pay in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong

Citi today announced that its credit cards issued in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong can now be used with Apple Pay, followed by Taiwan later this year. Citi cardholders can activate Apple Pay by opening the Wallet app, tapping the plus sign in the top-right corner, tapping the continue button, and positioning the credit card into the on-screen frame or entering the card details manually. Apple Pay is accepted at thousands of locations with contactless payment systems in each country. A compatible iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is required. In related news, Apple today announced that Apple Pay will soon be offered by BBVA, the second largest bank in Spain. Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, also remains listed as coming soon on the localized Apple Pay page for Spain.

Apple Stops Accepting Returns and Exchanges in Hong Kong Ahead of New iPhones

Apple today updated its sales policy in Hong Kong to indicate all products purchased at Apple's online and retail stores in the country on and after August 15, 2017 cannot be returned or exchanged indefinitely. As an exception to the rule, Apple will still honor exchanges for defective products in Hong Kong at its sole discretion. Apple didn't provide a reason for the policy change, but it's likely a precautionary move ahead of new iPhone models expected in September. The same policy went into effect in Hong Kong on iPhone 7 launch day last year. Hong Kong is a hotbed for black market electronics due to the lack of import taxes and duties added to foreign goods purchased, as is the case in neighboring mainland China. Scalpers often attempt to illegally smuggle new iPhones across the border to mainland China to make significant profits. Hong Kong scalper spotted "walking strangely" across the border into mainland China in 2015 via South China Morning Post When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong last year, for example, the smartphones hit the black market for as much as $15,000 in Hong Kong dollars, which was slightly over $1,900 in U.S. dollars. Apple's standard return policy in Hong Kong is already stricter than in some other countries. For volume purchases of four products or more, the return window is seven days, and there is a 25 percent restocking fee per unit. Apple will likely revert back to its standard return policy in Hong Kong at some point, but it didn't specify

You Can Now Pay For iTunes and App Store Purchases With Your Phone Bill in Three More Countries

Apple has expanded mobile phone billing to Denmark, Hong Kong, and Sweden, according to an updated support document on its website. The feature is now supported by the carrier Three in each of the countries, in addition to SmarTone in Hong Kong and Telenor in Sweden. The payment method enables customers to pay for iTunes Store content, App Store apps, iBooks, and Apple Music subscriptions without needing a debit or credit card, or even a bank account. Instead, purchases are added to a customer's mobile phone bill and paid off at the end of the month. Mobile phone billing is already available to customers of select carriers in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Apple's support document explains how to set up mobile phone billing in the iTunes Store on both iPhone and iPad and Mac and

Apple Not Accepting Returns or Exchanges in Hong Kong

Apple updated its purchase policy for Hong Kong today to reflect that all Apple and Beats products purchased at its retail stores in the region cannot be returned or exchanged. The exact reason for Apple suddenly disallowing returns and exchanges at its five Hong Kong retail locations, and whether it is a temporary move, remains unclear at this time. Apple previously allowed customers in Hong Kong to return or exchange undamaged products with the original receipt and packaging within 14 days of the date of purchase. The change was made on the same day iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong, where the smartphones have been reselling on the black market for up to 15,000 Hong Kong dollars, or up to $1,933 in U.S. dollars. CNBC and South China Morning Post both ran articles about these lucrative scalping efforts, which have become commonplace with every iPhone launch, earlier today. Hong Kong is a hotbed for black market electronics due to the lack of import taxes and duties added to foreign goods purchased, as is the case in neighboring mainland China. Scalpers often attempt to illegally smuggle new iPhones across the border to mainland China to make significant profits, including one smuggler caught with 94 iPhones strapped to his body in 2015. A tipster informed MacRumors that the return policy change also applies in Macau, another special administrative region of

Apple's First Mexican Store and Sixth Hong Kong Store Open Next Week

Apple has announced that its first retail store in Mexico, located at the Centro Santa Fe shopping mall in Mexico City, will open on Saturday, September 24 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Apple's sixth retail store in Hong Kong, located at the apm shopping mall, also opens on Thursday, September 22 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Reforma Gadgets via Twitter Apple is celebrating the opening of its first Mexican store with a colorful Hola México banner and a matching construction barrier at Via Santa Fe, the upscale wing of Centro Santa Fe, the largest shopping mall in Latin America. The store, first rumored in January, will be located on the upper level of the shopping mall. Apple's sixth retail store in Hong Kong will be located at 418 Kwun Tong Road in the Kwun Tong district. The store will be open seven days a week between 11 a.m. local time and 11:00 p.m. local time. Apple's other five stores in Hong Kong are located at Canton Road, Causeway Bay, Festival Walk, IFC Mall, and New Town Plaza. September is shaping up to be a busy month for Apple retail, starting with two U.S. stores that reopened on September 2, another four locations reopening on September 10, and three more to follow on September 16.

BEA and Tap & Go Now Support Apple Pay in Hong Kong

Nearly one month after Apple Pay launched in Hong Kong, the iPhone-based contactless payments service has expanded to The Bank of East Asia (BEA) and Hong Kong Telekom (HKT)'s Tap & Go contactless payments network. BEA customers can add eligible MasterCard and Visa credit cards to Apple Pay and receive 5,000 bonus points between now and August 22, while the first 30,000 customers that complete three or more Apple Pay transactions between now and October 31 will receive a 25% cash rebate of up to $180. Likewise, HKT Tap & Go customers that add prepaid cards to Apple Pay, and complete three or more Apple Pay transactions between now and August 31, will receive a cash rebate of up to $50. Eligible cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping the "Add Credit or Debit Card" option in the Wallet app on iPhone 5 and later running iOS 8.1 or above. Other banks with Apple Pay support in Hong Kong include the Bank of China (Hong Kong), DBS Bank (Hong Kong), Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered. Apple Pay retailers in Hong Kong include 7-Eleven, Apple, Colourmix, KFC, Lane Crawford, Mannings, McDonald's, Pacific Coffee, Pizza Hut, Sasa, Senryo, Starbucks, ThreeSixty, and elsewhere contactless payments are accepted.

Apple's Fifth Retail Store in Hong Kong Opens on June 30

Apple has announced that its fifth retail store in Hong Kong opens on Thursday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. local time. The store will be located inside the New Town Plaza shopping mall at 18 Sha Tin Centre Street. The store will be open seven days a week between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time, providing customers in the northern Sha Tin District with access to the Genius Bar and other traditional store services. As noted in our Apple Stores roundup, construction of the store is nearly completed. Apple Store, New Town Plaza will be the company's 46th retail store in Greater China and 484th retail store overall. Apple's other Hong Kong locations include Canton Road, Causeway Bay, Festival Walk, and IFC Mall, the last of which expanded into a third floor in late 2015.

Apple Pay Expanding to France, Hong Kong, and Switzerland

Apple confirmed during its WWDC 2016 keynote that Apple Pay will be expanding to France, Hong Kong, and Switzerland over the next few months in partnership with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Visa and MasterCard will be supported in all three countries, while American Express will also be available in Hong Kong. The specific credit, debit, and prepaid cards that can be used in each country vary depending on the participating issuers listed below. France Participating banks and issuers in France at launch will include Banque Populaire, Boon, Caisse Epargne, Carrefour Banque, Orange, and Ticket Restaurant. Apple Pay will be accepted at many retailers in France, including Apple, Bocage, Boulanger, Cojean, Dior, Le Bon Marché, Louis Vuitton, Orange, Pret a Manger, Sephora, and elsewhere contactless payments are accepted. Hong Kong Participating banks and issuers in Hong Kong at launch will include the Bank of East Asia (BEA), Bank of China (Hong Kong), DBS Bank (Hong Kong), Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered. Apple Pay retailers in Hong Kong include 7-Eleven, Apple, Colourmix, KFC, Lane Crawford, Mannings, McDonald's, Pacific Coffee, Pizza Hut, Sasa, Senryo, Starbucks, ThreeSixty, and elsewhere contactless payments are accepted. Switzerland Participating banks and prepaid issuers in Switzerland at launch will include Bonus Card, Cornèr Bank (Cornèrcard), and Swiss Bankers. Apple Pay will be accepted at many retailers in Switzerland, including ALDI SUISSE, Apple, Avec, Hublot, K Kiosk, Lidl, Louis Vuitton, Mobilezone, Press & Books,

iOS 9 Now Supports Spotlight Suggestions in 7 More Countries

Apple this month has expanded Spotlight Suggestions to seven additional regions for compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models running iOS 9 or later. The localized feature is now supported in Hong Kong, India, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Spotlight Suggestions, such as popular contacts, frequently opened apps, nearby amenities, and local news headlines, can be found by swiping right on the home screen. Other supported regions include the U.S., U.K., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and

MasterCard May Support Apple Pay in Canada, Brazil and Asia This Year

Apple Pay is supported by large financial institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, but the mobile payments service can only be used with non-bank-issued American Express credit cards in Australia and Canada. Apple Pay does not support big banks in either country. That could soon change in at least Canada, as MacRumors has learned that MasterCard has Apple Pay support in that country on its 2016 roadmap. The information is based on an unverified internal document, however, so the plans cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt until other evidence surfaces. MasterCard credit cards are issued by a number of Canada's largest banks, including BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust, while store-branded MasterCards are available from large retailers such as Canadian Tire, Costco, and Walmart. Most of these stores and institutions also offer Visa, but their plans remain unknown. MasterCard is also looking to support Apple Pay in Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore in 2016, according to the document. Apple previously announced that its Apple Pay partnership with American Express will expand to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain this year, while Brazil and Japan would be entirely new markets. Earlier this month, a hidden "NetworkInterac" string was uncovered in iOS 9.2.1 code that hints at Apple Pay support at Canada's big banks. Interac is Canada's official debit card network, adopted by the country's largest financial institutions nationwide. TD already stirred speculation in October when it inadvertently listed Apple Pay as a method

Apple's Fourth Retail Store in Hong Kong on Canton Road Opens July 30

Apple's fourth retail store in Hong Kong, located on Canton Road in the upscale shopping area of Tsim Sha Tsui, will have its grand opening on Thursday, July 30 at 9:00 AM local time, according to a new store listing on Apple's website. The store, at 100 Canton Road in southern Kowloon, will be open Monday through Sunday between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM. The new Canton Road location will be one of the biggest Apple Stores in Asia and marks the fourth store in Hong Kong alongside Causeway Bay, Festival Walk and IFC Mall locations. Apple has been completing the final stages of construction on the store this month, with photos of the store's beautiful white facade with an Apple logo and wavy design surfacing last

Apple's Fourth Retail Store in Hong Kong Nearing Completion

As construction continues on what will be Apple's fourth retail store in Hong Kong, located in the upscale shopping area of Canton Road, new pictures of the store's facade with an Apple logo shared by iMag on Facebook officially confirm that the Cupertino-based company will soon be opening up shop in the area. The store has been planned since at least August 2013 and under renovation for the past several months. The new Canton Road location is expected to be one of the biggest Apple Stores in Asia and will mark the fourth store in Hong Kong alongside Causeway Bay, Festival Walk and IFC Mall locations. It remains unknown when the new store will open to customers, but Apple appears to be in the final stages of construction and should announce grand opening details on its website in the coming weeks or