"It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different", Cook wrote. They also argue that other popular apps, like driving app Waze, let users track police activity.
Mok said the app, which crowdsources information to allow people in Hong Kong to know where police are active, helps people avoid police brutality.
Apple gave us a statement explaining that the map app violated both its own rules and local laws.
Apple then backtracked on that decision soon after an article appeared in the State-run People's Daily newspaper criticizing the company for helping rioters.
"National and global debates will outlive us all, and, while important they do not govern the facts", said Cook in defense of Apple's decision. "We once believed the App rejection is simply a bureaucratic f up (fuck up), but now it is clearly a political decision to suppress freedom and human right in #HongKong", they tweeted.
Apple has received quite a bit of flak on social media for giving in to the demand of the Chinese government and removing the HKmap.live app from the App Store.
The developers of HKmap.live said they disagree with claims that the app is a public safety threat and said there was zero evidence backing up the Hong Kong authorities' allegations. The company also removed BackupHK, a separate app that served as a mirror of the HKmap.live app.
In the week Apple dropped a controversial app and a games firm suspended an e-sports player for making controversial remarks about Hong Kong, Tech Tent looks at the ethical dilemmas for anyone doing business in China.
"Given the context of how (Apple) has over the years removed apps and removed access to news particularly inside mainland China that the Chinese government doesn't want, I think that the removal of this particular app strikes me as another shameful incident in which a multinational company bends to Chinese government pressure", she said.
"Whilst we may not be able to fight alongside the young protesters in the frontline against an unjust government, escalating police violence and indiscriminate arrests, we take it to heart to uphold the core values of Hong Kong and defend the future of our younger generations", it said in a statement.
"The majority of user review [s] in [the] App Store that suggested HKmap IMPROVED public safety, not the opposite". Thursday's removal of the app drew immediate reprimands from Washington. A growing number of American giants, including Activision Blizzard Inc., find themselves embroiled in controversies over the extent to which their actions are influenced by economic considerations in a vast Chinese market. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it.
The metro normally carries around 5 million people a day.
The anonymous developer of HKmap.live responded to Apple's decision in a series of Wednesday tweets.
Pro-establishment and democratic lawmakers shouted at each other before the beginning of the session, underscoring the tensions and divisions after four months of often violent pro-democracy protests.
"It sounds like they are being responsible".
Not all US lawmakers were appeased.