The Intercept reported that Safari users in Hong Kong are currently receiving warnings while attempting to access specific websites. Without providing additional information, an error message states that the website has been disabled for users’ protection. Although mainland China has been extensively restricting internet access for years, things were much better in Hong Kong up until the passage of new security law in 2020.
On December 30, software developer and former Apple worker Chu Ka-Cheong noticed a sudden stoppage in launching websites like GitLab, an online repository for open-source code. Safari allegedly restricted the content because the website included “unverified facts.”
The report states that “access to GitLab was restored several days after the matter was brought to the company’s attention.” Apple and Tencent failed to provide an explanation for why the website was blocked. It’s not known how many other websites were impacted, even though access to GitLab has been restored, or even why the ban imposed by China was expanded to Hong Kong without justification.
This raised questions about whether Apple would abide by Chinese government requests despite marketing privacy as a feature included in all of its goods and services.