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Apple defends its fold on Hong Kong app as backlash mounts

US lawmakers press NBA to boycott the boycott in China

NEW YORK -- Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday explained the company's removal of a map app used in the Hong Kong protests from its App Store, following criticism of the American technology giant's perceived bowing to pressure from Beijing.

The company has "thoroughly" reviewed the facts surrounding -- which provides crowdsourced information on police checkpoints, among other things -- and the decision to pull the app "best protects our users," Cook told employees in an internal message.

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