Tencent and Google Safe Browsing in China manage filters in Apple's Safari web browser that are designed to keep users away from malicious sites, known as the "Fraudulent Website Warning". These filters appear to have been extended to users in Hong Kong without explanation, leading to some scrutiny and criticism of the tech giant.
Software engineer and former Apple employee Chu Ka-Cheong noticed on December 30 that some websites, such as GitLab (an online platform for open-source code), had suddenly become inaccessible. Safari users were presented with a message stating the website had "unverified information". After the situation was brought to the company's attention, access to GitLab was restored. However, it is not known how many other websites were censored or why Chinese censorship was extended to Hong Kong.
Questions for Apple
Many people have raised questions about why Apple has chosen to comply with the Chinese government in this circumstance. It has caused concern over whether the tech giant is upholding its promise to protect users and keep their data private and secure. This is particularly concerning given that Apple has positioned itself as a privacy-focused company and this step appears to contradict that idea. It remains to be seen whether or not Apple will take any action to address this issue and ensure that users in Hong Kong are not subjected to censorship.