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Google pulls Hong Kong protester role-playing app


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A man holds Taiwanese flags as he join others at a rally to mark Taiwan’s National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong Thursday. A Hong Kong government official said on Thursday that Apple was responsible for removing a smartphone application that allowed activists to report police movements. | AP

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has suspended a role-playing app associated with the Hong Kong protests due to a policy that prohibits developers from capitalizing on ongoing conflicts, the company said on Thursday.

A Google spokesman said that The Revolution Of Our Times app, which lets users role-play as Hong Kong protesters, violated a long-standing policy “prohibiting developers from capitalizing on sensitive events, such as attempting to make money from serious ongoing conflicts or tragedies through a game.


Google’s decision came during the same week as Apple removed the HKmap.live app, which crowdsources the locations of both police and protesters, from its app store.

Four months of large and often violent pro-democracy protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong pose the biggest popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.


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