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 Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present. This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law. Similarly, widespread abuse clearly violates our ‌App Store‌ guidelines barring personal harm.

We built the ‌App Store‌ to be a safe and trusted place for every user. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and it’s one that we aim to preserve. National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.

Tim

Cook has since been criticized for his claim that the app is used to target individual police and members of the public. The developers say HKmap Live is designed to help protestors avoid law enforcement. As such, it doesn’t show individual officers but only large concentrations of police, as reflected in the web-hosted version of the app.

In a Twitter post, Charles Mok, a developer and member of Hong Kong’s legislative council, revealed that he had written to Cook saying he was “deeply disappointed with Apple’s decision to ban the app, and would like to contest the claims made by Hong Kong Police Force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTBC).”

“There are numerous cases of innocent passers-by in the neighborhood injured by the Kong Kong Police Force’s excessive force in crowd dispersal operations,” he wrote.

“The user-generated information shared using HKmap.live in fact helps citizens avoid areas where pedestrians not involved in any criminal activities might be subjected to police brutality which many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have observed.”

Mok’s letter went on to note that since the banned app aggregates real-time reports from Telegram, Facebook and other sources, then the same standard should also be applied to review these social media apps.

In the U.S., lawmakers have also criticized Apple for not standing up for democratic values and free speech. “An authoritarian regime is violently suppressing its own citizens who are fighting for democracy,” said Democrat senator Ron Wyden in a tweet. “Apple just sided with them.”

“Apple assured me last week that their initial decision to ban this app was a mistake,” tweeted Republican senator Josh Hawley. “Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since. Who is really running Apple? ‌Tim Cook‌ or Beijing?”

At a press conference on Thursday, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing was asked by reporters which local laws HKmap Live had violated that led Apple to remove it from the ‌App Store‌, but the official deferred to Cupertino: “The taking down of the app from the ‌App Store‌ is the decision made by the operating company – Apple. So, if you want to know the reason for them to take down the app, maybe you can approach Apple and the Apple Store.”

Apple has so far declined to comment on the matter.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

This article, “Tim Cook Defends Removal of Hong Kong Mapping App From App Store in Leaked Memo” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present. This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law. Similarly, widespread abuse clearly violates our ‌App Store‌ guidelines barring personal harm.

We built the ‌App Store‌ to be a safe and trusted place for every user. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and it’s one that we aim to preserve. National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.

Tim
Cook has since been criticized for his claim that the app is used to target individual police and members of the public. The developers say HKmap Live is designed to help protestors avoid law enforcement. As such, it doesn't show individual officers but only large concentrations of police, as reflected in the web-hosted version of the app.

In a Twitter post, Charles Mok, a developer and member of Hong Kong's legislative council, revealed that he had written to Cook saying he was "deeply disappointed with Apple's decision to ban the app, and would like to contest the claims made by Hong Kong Police Force's Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTBC)."
"There are numerous cases of innocent passers-by in the neighborhood injured by the Kong Kong Police Force's excessive force in crowd dispersal operations," he wrote.

"The user-generated information shared using HKmap.live in fact helps citizens avoid areas where pedestrians not involved in any criminal activities might be subjected to police brutality which many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have observed."
Mok's letter went on to note that since the banned app aggregates real-time reports from Telegram, Facebook and other sources, then the same standard should also be applied to review these social media apps.

In the U.S., lawmakers have also criticized Apple for not standing up for democratic values and free speech. "An authoritarian regime is violently suppressing its own citizens who are fighting for democracy," said Democrat senator Ron Wyden in a tweet. "Apple just sided with them."

"Apple assured me last week that their initial decision to ban this app was a mistake," tweeted Republican senator Josh Hawley. "Looks like the Chinese censors have had a word with them since. Who is really running Apple? ‌Tim Cook‌ or Beijing?"

At a press conference on Thursday, Hong Kong's Secretary for Transport and Housing was asked by reporters which local laws HKmap Live had violated that led Apple to remove it from the ‌App Store‌, but the official deferred to Cupertino: "The taking down of the app from the ‌App Store‌ is the decision made by the operating company – Apple. So, if you want to know the reason for them to take down the app, maybe you can approach Apple and the Apple Store."

Apple has so far declined to comment on the matter.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


This article, "Tim Cook Defends Removal of Hong Kong Mapping App From App Store in Leaked Memo" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Pulls Hong Kong Protest App From App Store Following Chinese Criticism

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 Technology Crime Bureau] accusation that HKmap 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.”

1. We disagree @Apple and @hkpoliceforce ‘s claim that HKmap App endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong.#HKmap #HKmaplive #HK #Censorship

— HKmap.live 全港抗爭即時地圖 (@hkmaplive) October 10, 2019

Earlier on Thursday, Apple also removed the app of news outlet Quartz from China’s  App Store . The news organization told The Verge that Apple has removed its mobile app after complaints from the Chinese government, and said it had received a notice from Apple that the app “includes content that is illegal in China.”

Demonstrations in Hong Kong began in March in response to an unsigned legal bill that threatened to allow extradition to mainland China. Since then, the protests have to expanded to demand that the city state retains its broader democratic rights. The special administrative region maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

This article, “Apple Pulls Hong Kong Protest App From App Store Following Chinese Criticism” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 Technology Crime Bureau] accusation that HKmap 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."


Earlier on Thursday, Apple also removed the app of news outlet Quartz from China's  App Store . The news organization told The Verge that Apple has removed its mobile app after complaints from the Chinese government, and said it had received a notice from Apple that the app "includes content that is illegal in China."

Demonstrations in Hong Kong began in March in response to an unsigned legal bill that threatened to allow extradition to mainland China. Since then, the protests have to expanded to demand that the city state retains its broader democratic rights. The special administrative region maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of "one country, two systems".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


This article, "Apple Pulls Hong Kong Protest App From App Store Following Chinese Criticism" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 anti-government movement – to be available for download in the iTunes Store.

The map app is just the tip of the iceberg. In the Apple Music Store in Hong Kong, there was also a song advocating “Hong Kong independence.” Such a song was once removed from the music store and has resurrected.

As a company with international influence, Apple has always enjoyed a high reputation. A company has its own standards of conduct, but should also have its social responsibilities. If Apple abandons its responsibilities and let violent acts get worse, it puts more users at risk.

Business is business, and politics is politics. Nobody wants to drag Apple into the lingering unrest in Hong Kong. But people have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.

While it appears that Apple deemed the HKmap Live app to be legal, it has acted to remove apps from the App Store to abide by Chinese law in the past.

In July 2017, it removed most VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government. Later the same year, Apple removed Skype from the App Store in China to comply with local law.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

This article, “China Accuses Apple of ‘Protecting Rioters’ After Approving HKmap Live for the App Store” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 anti-government movement – to be available for download in the iTunes Store.
The map app is just the tip of the iceberg. In the Apple Music Store in Hong Kong, there was also a song advocating "Hong Kong independence." Such a song was once removed from the music store and has resurrected.

As a company with international influence, Apple has always enjoyed a high reputation. A company has its own standards of conduct, but should also have its social responsibilities. If Apple abandons its responsibilities and let violent acts get worse, it puts more users at risk.

Business is business, and politics is politics. Nobody wants to drag Apple into the lingering unrest in Hong Kong. But people have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision.
While it appears that Apple deemed the HKmap Live app to be legal, it has acted to remove apps from the App Store to abide by Chinese law in the past.

In July 2017, it removed most VPN apps from the App Store in China, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government. Later the same year, Apple removed Skype from the App Store in China to comply with local law.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


This article, "China Accuses Apple of 'Protecting Rioters' After Approving HKmap Live for the App Store" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Bans App That Allowed Hong Kong Protestors to Track Police Movements

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 earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

This article, “Apple Bans App That Allowed Hong Kong Protestors to Track Police Movements” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


This article, "Apple Bans App That Allowed Hong Kong Protestors to Track Police Movements" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 compatible with iPhone 7 and later models, so today’s find should make for good news for those hoping to digitize the popular transit and retail payment card, which should also support Apple’s Express Transit mode.

iOS 13 for iPhone is expected to be released in the fall.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 13, iPadOS

This article, “Hong Kong’s Octopus Transit Card to Support Apple Pay Later This Year [Updated]” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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.




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 compatible with iPhone 7 and later models, so today's find should make for good news for those hoping to digitize the popular transit and retail payment card, which should also support Apple's Express Transit mode.

iOS 13 for iPhone is expected to be released in the fall.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 13, iPadOS

This article, "Hong Kong's Octopus Transit Card to Support Apple Pay Later This Year [Updated]" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iOS 13 Likely to Include Support for Hong Kong’s Octopus Transit Card

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 compatible with iPhone 7 and later models, so today’s find should make for good news for those hoping to digitize the popular transit and retail payment card, which should also support Apple’s Express Transit mode.

iOS 13 for iPhone is expected to be released in the fall.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 13, iPadOS

This article, “iOS 13 Likely to Include Support for Hong Kong’s Octopus Transit Card” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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 compatible with iPhone 7 and later models, so today's find should make for good news for those hoping to digitize the popular transit and retail payment card, which should also support Apple's Express Transit mode.

iOS 13 for iPhone is expected to be released in the fall.

Related Roundups: Apple Pay, iOS 13, iPadOS

This article, "iOS 13 Likely to Include Support for Hong Kong's Octopus Transit Card" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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

Citi today announced that its credit cards can now be used with Apple Pay in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, followed by Taiwan later this year.

Citi cardholders can activate Apple Pay by opening the Wallet app, tapping the plus sign in the t…

Citi today announced that its credit cards can now be used with Apple Pay in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, 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.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Discuss this article in our forums

Is the Hong Kong Property Market Going to be the First Casualty of Fed Tightening?

We have been far from alone in issuing periodic warnings about the implications of rising interest rates for a global debt market that is out of proportion to levels seen even before the last recession. Need buying strategies for steel? Try two free months of MetalMiner’s Outlook Fortunately, one of the first test cases has…

The post Is the Hong Kong Property Market Going to be the First Casualty of Fed Tightening? appeared first on Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner.

We have been far from alone in issuing periodic warnings about the implications of rising interest rates for a global debt market that is out of proportion to levels seen even before the last recession. Need buying strategies for steel? Try two free months of MetalMiner’s Outlook Fortunately, one of the first test cases has...

The post Is the Hong Kong Property Market Going to be the First Casualty of Fed Tightening? appeared first on Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner.